Julian Jackson

This story is part of our “Reach Your Potential” series, which features individuals from our Jobs Waiting TechHire program.

Julian Jackson grew up in a tight-knit family, with parents who supported him and made education a priority. He attended Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx, and went on to Delaware State University, a historically black college in Dover, DE. During his second semester at the university, he broke his leg. He left the school, and never went back.

 

“One thing led to another, and I decided not to return,” says Jackson.

At the time, Jackson’s sister was employed by Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, and helped him get a job there. He started as a lifeguard, then moved on to respite care for parents and caregivers with children who have special needs. He helped families take a needed break, caring for kids by helping with daily tasks, including tutoring, personal care, and playing games – all work he enjoyed very much.

But when his girlfriend headed to college, Jackson decided it was time for him to go back as well. He followed her to Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA. Ultimately, he felt the college was not a good fit. He returned to New York and Cerebral Palsy of Westchester. He knew what he was passionate about — special education — and was itching to figure out his future.

But he just couldn’t figure out the next step.

Help was on the way

Then his Scout Leader, who happened to be an instructor for Jobs Waiting, referred him to the program.

“I needed help in becoming more career-ready; I needed structure. I definitely found that with this program,” says Jackson, who wrote his first resume and developed a cover letter. He gained interview skills and, with input from his career coaches, worked on his short- and long-term goals.

When asked how he benefitted from participating in the program’s career readiness “boot camp,” Jackson replied with his vision for the future:

“Here’s my plan: two years of special education courses at Westchester Community College. Then on to Manhattan College to earn a degree in Adolescent Special Education, 7-12, with a minor in Spanish. Then I’ll become a teacher, earn my master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and eventually, a doctorate in Sociology or Educational Psychology. I want to be a role model for young black men who are disadvantaged.”

With his clarity of purpose and vision, Jackson is on his way!

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