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11/10/2017

Marketing Major Speaks at Pentagon, Wins $47,000 in Competition

Quick Facts

 Brandon Jackson traveled to Washington, D.C., in September to compete on the national level for the Boys and Girls Club of America Military Youth of the Year award.
 Though he didn’t win the national title, Jackson did win $47,000 overall to put toward his studies.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Few Winthrop University students can say they’ve given a speech at The Pentagon, but freshman Brandon Jackson can.

Jackson, a marketing major from Columbia, South Carolina, traveled to Washington, D.C., in September to compete on the national level for the Boys and Girls Club of America Military Youth of the Year award. His Pentagon speech focused on what the club meant to him—“a world-class club that assures success.”

Though he didn’t win the national title, Jackson did win $47,000 overall to put toward his studies.

And it’s partly in thanks to his mom.

“My mom came home one day and said, ‘You’re going to the Boys and Girls Club after school,’” said Jackson, who had just started high school at the time. He was having some trouble adjusting to the academic expectations. “I was a little shaky about going.”

At the club, Jackson participated in programs such as Power Hour for homework; Triple Play, a wellness program that teaches students how to eat right, stay fit and form positive relationships; and community service through Fort Jackson’s Keystone Club. His academic and leadership skills soared. Thanks to encouragement from the Boys and Girls Club, Jackson ran for his high school’s student council, eventually serving as junior class recording secretary and student body parliamentarian. He also served as a Boys and Girls Club-affiliated youth center military teen ambassador and vice president of the Keystone Club.

No surprise, then, that he advanced so far in the Military Youth competition, winning at the local level at a Boys and Girls Club affiliate at Fort Jackson; the state level; and then at the regional level, earning the distinction of Southeast Military Youth of the Year.

“The regional competition was my favorite,” he said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity and thankful to have met all the people I met. …It helped me grow and develop as a young leader.”

With his degree, Jackson hopes to one day work for the Boys and Girls Club.

“Hopefully in the national office, because they do a lot of great things,” he said. “I’d like to give back to the company that gave so much to me.”

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or chisarin@winthrop.edu.

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