Crystal Jackson, the winner of the title "Unsung Hero" in Local 4's Spring 4Frenzy competition, has been passionate about education her entire life. Even as an elementary student, she was a member of the Service Girls and Future Teachers’ program. "I always knew that teachers were important and that they were there to help others to learn and gain knowledge."
Now, she’s giving that passion back to the community with her program, the Senior Defense Initiative.
The Senior Defense Initiative is a program for high school seniors at Cornerstone Health + Technology High School that requires them to defend their graduation, just like a college student would defend a senior thesis. Before graduation, students go before judges and present a research paper that they've worked on during the school year.
The program is designed to prepare students for what they’ll face in college, and give them the skills they’ll need to succeed.
"My most important life lesson has been being able to demonstrate that all students have the ability to learn."
A program built to last:
Jackson has been acting as the advisor and owner of the Senior Defense Initiative, and says she’s honored to be recognized as Local 4's "Unsung Hero" in the Spring 4Frenzy.
In her role as advisor of the program, Jackson takes on the responsibility of preparing her students for not only college, but for the rest of their lives.
“It is important to serve as an educator because in this role, a teacher molds and influences the minds of those in almost every profession in the world.” Jackson says, “It is rewarding to see former students earning advanced degrees, producing movies, receiving military honors, and making more money than the teacher who taught them their profession.”