– 12 ICONS OF NEW ORLEANS –
Selected by JPMorgan Chase
THE ICON: Quinndale Ridgeway
THE LEGACY: Quinndale Ridgeway is a shining example of the new generation of young leaders poised to guide New Orleans in the near future.
Born and raised in the Crescent City, Ridgeway hails from the Seventh Ward, an area that – like many throughout NOLA – has seen its fair share of struggle in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But as a recent Dean’s List graduate of ReNEW Accelerated High School and the recipient of the RAHS Values Award for professionalism, Ridgeway exudes the confidence and drive that so often characterize today’s New Orleans youth. Though he may be young, Ridgeway has already garnered a host of accomplishments he expects will help pave the way for a bright, successful future.
Even before graduation, Ridgeway held himself to the highest of standards. He earned himself a nickname among teachers and counselors – “The Bar” – as a testament to his willingness to go above and beyond. And while the nickname was his own, Ridgeway emphasizes that he never set standards only for himself. He instead applied these expectations to friends and peers, too, because leaving others behind has simply never been his way.
By 2017, it became clear that Ridgeway was on the fast track to success. He won a position with the Port of New Orleans through the YouthForce NOLA internship program, and this year, he joined UnCommon Construction as a build apprentice, where he worked with a team of fellow students to build a home for a low-to-moderate income family in just one semester. Ridgeway has even earned an emergency medical responder license, which he hopes to use as he pursues a career in New Orleans.
All in all, Ridgeway believes that his unique journey, coupled with the connections he’s forged along the way, have positioned him for an exciting future in New Orleans – a future that reflects the wealth of possibilities presented by a city that’s unlike any other.
THE INSPIRATION: “I don’t just set standards for myself – I set standards for everyone. I don’t leave people behind.”