An Eagle’s Success

by Kendra Sanders-Baskin

Darnell Kirkwood the actor from “Young and the Restless” who plays character Jordan Wilde is also Ruskin High school’s very own Alumni. Kirkwood came back to his alma mater Aug. 25. He gave a very heart felt speech about his Ruskin days and how he overcame the adversity of being in a lower middle class area.

“His speech was a moment that will live on through Ruskin forever,” said his oral communications teacher Carla Sole.

Kirkwood’s speech was very encouraging to those that had the chance to hear him speak.

“Darnell made most of us that heard his speech realize that life is only as bad as you make it,” senior Marquan Henderson said.

Since Kirkwood came from the same area and the same seats as current Ruskin students it gave Kirkwood an advantage to impact the students.

“It’s really refreshing knowing that that’s someone made it out of the bad environment everyone thinks we are in and made something of themselves that we can be proud of as Ruskin students,” senior Lamia Oliver said.

Kirkwood was a huge eye opener for both students and staff, he is an inspiration to all, pushing all Eagles to do better not just for ourselves but for the community.

This IS what I do it for!!! I've been wanting to go back to the high school I attended and speak to the kids for a long time now! As soon as Carla Kissee Sole reached out to me a while back, I've been waiting for it all to align and fall in place. Well it FINALLY did! I finally got to say, "I was sitting in the same seats that you are sitting in right now"! AND I got to do it with my brother @thurobread4lyfe! I remember being that kid living in KC, with a vision. I needed that tangible resource that showed me that I can actually live my dreams and make a living. Thank you to my brother, Coach Sole, Principal Allen and all the kids at Ruskin High School who shared an hour of their day with me. To all the dreamers, never give up and may you find a way to live through your passion! #BlessIt

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From Ruskin to ‘Restless:’ KC actor lands role on television’s biggest soap

The No. 1 daytime soap opera on television just added a new face – a Kansas City face. Darnell Kirkwood, 32, a Kansas City-born actor and model, has joined CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” as recurring character Jordan Wilde, a “sexy photographer with swagger,” as the network describes him.