“Before HOBY, I knew that I wanted to do something to benefit individuals less fortunate than myself, but I did not know where to channel my efforts. Attending the HOBY [Southern California] Leadership Seminar gave me the resources to actually put my thoughts into action… HOBY gave me the expertise and facilitated my passion to lead through service by teaching me about the importance of perspective and collaboration… it wasn’t until after HOBY that I fully realized that service isn’t about doing something the ‘right’ way – it’s about doing something to give back, and inspiring others to do the same.”
When Jackson became the Student Board Representative for his school district, he was given the opportunity to organize a school district-wide philanthropy project. During his HOBY seminar, Jackson changed his perspective on leadership through service, realizing that leadership isn’t about micro-managing, but instead collaboration and inspiring others to take action. This new outlook allowed him to network during HOBY’s Mentor Mingle Lunch with a representative from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Jackson became aware of the dramatic effect a “wish” can have on a child’s life. This experience inspired him to organize a district-wide coin drive to raise money to grant wishes for children diagnosed with progressive, degenerative, or malignant medical conditions. By coordinating and overseeing this project in more than twenty schools, Jackson’s efforts helped raise over $20,000 to grant four wishes to Make-A-Wish children – the single largest donation by an underage individual since 2013.
Dustin Porras, Campaign Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire writes, “Jackson’s enormous contribution not only touched the lives of our countless families but it also introduced philanthropy and fundraising to hundreds of adolescents across Orange County, skills they will no doubt retain for life. His influence will be felt for years in our community,”