#MyPathToSeniorWalk: Gary Jackson
Originally from Pocahontas, Arkansas, Gary Jackson visited the University of Arkansas as a junior in high school, and, as he puts it, "instantly knew that this was the school for me."
“Besides being a Darren McFadden fan growing up, I have always loved the state of Arkansas and take pride in calling it my home,” he says. “I knew that certain features, such as the Honors College and RSOs [registered student organizations] offered, the wide array of events offered to students, and, most importantly, Hog sports, would allow me to shape my college career into one that I would love.”
Once at the U of A, Jackson decided to study biology and chemistry. But after arriving on campus, he found a passion for helping others - and the U of A offered him many opportunities to do so.
As a sophomore, he became involved with several campus organizations, including the Associated Student Government, the RSO Students with Refugees, and the Volunteer Action Center.
Jackson says he got involved in these organizations because he always strives to make a difference in any community that he's in. "I knew coming to campus as a freshman that I wanted to put myself in positions where I could serve others," he says. "I tried to find [organizations] that best complemented both my skillset as a leader and my interests in order to maximize my impact in those respective positions."
Thanks to his amazing work, in November 2021, Jackson was named Student Leader of the Month, a recognition of U of A undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership through campus involvement, leadership activities, or through volunteer and community service.
Since then, Jackson has continued much of his leadership and volunteer work and now serves as the director of physical health for the Associated Student Government and the student engagement chair in the Volunteer Action Center. He’s also an undergraduate research assistant and part of the Campus Council Committee, as well as volunteering with a local hospice organization.
His advice for other students is to empower others: "The best leaders I have ever seen or been able to work with are not those who focus on the power that comes with their positions, but those who use their positions to enable others to be leaders themselves."
Besides all the leadership and public service opportunities, he says he has enjoyed the relationships he has made on campus. “We have a campus that has so many amazing people that all contribute to making sure that this is a place that feels like home,” he says.
“Being a student at the U of A has been an unforgettable experience for me and so many other students,” Jackson says. “I recommend other students to come here because of the chances U of A gives you to create your own story and make the most of being at college!”
For more student success stories like Gary’s, check out our previous #MyPathToSeniorWalk features: Erick Soto, Kennedy Hicks and Rachell Sanchez-Smith. Many more stories are to come. If you have story that you'd like told or know someone who has an inspiring story, please check out the nomination form.
DeLani Bartlette, writer
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