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Name: Jarvais Jackson '15
Residence: Sumter, South Carolina

Sometimes, life leads us full circle.

At least, that’s how it worked out for Jarvais Jackson '15, a Winthrop University elementary education graduate who calls Sumter, South Carolina, his hometown. He currently teaches in the Richland School District 2 in Columbia. 

As far back as the second grade, Jackson knew two things: 1. He wanted to attend Winthrop after hearing a church member sing its praises; and 2. He wanted to teach elementary school.

But the dream evolved. Jackson’s wishes changed to being a CEO; to being a sports lawyer; to being a high school math teacher. However, summer volunteer work at a YMCA while he was waiting to come to Winthrop brought his dream full circle.

“I enjoyed working with the younger children, and a coworker who was a veteran educator said to me, ‘What are you thinking about doing?’ When I said ‘high school math teacher,’ she said, ‘No, you need to think about elementary education,’” Jackson recalled.

Jackson fully committed to what it means to be a leader and stand-out student during his time at Winthrop.

“Winthrop has given me the chance to know what it means to make mistakes but pick up and learn from it,” he said. “It has also taught me the importance of dreaming and setting goals and with the support of faculty and staff members, and with my experience even administration, going after those dreams are an ease.”

His resume is a list of accomplishments and extracurricular work, not to mention his various committee work with groups on campus.

*Served on the Council of Student Leaders (CSL), the student governing body;
*Served as a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions, leading potential students and their families on tours of Winthrop and promoting the university;
*Served on the Resident Students’ Association;
*Volunteered at Freedom Temple Ministries in Rock Hill; and
*Served on the National Education Association’s (NEA) Student Advisory Board.

But his greatest challenge thus far was his campaign for the NEA student chairperson position in 2015. The job, which involves chairing NEA student programs and overseeing the advisory committee for student members, would have taken him to Washington, D.C., for a two-year term. Though he did not win, Jackson was grateful for the experience.

Jackson summed up his feelings with the phrase “veni, vidi, vici,” which translates to “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

“It was my high school yearbook quote, and just like then, I accomplished a goal in life,” he said. “With all its challenges, ups and downs, I set a goal of completing college in four years and I am doing that. Now it’s on to D.C.!”

Last updated 7/6/17 by NC

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