Jackson addresses students at the American School in London

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“Be the change you want to be…as one person you can make a difference”.  The concept that everyone and anyone can be an agent of change was the first message delivered to students at the American School in London (ASL).  This was particularly apt as Jackson had been invited to speak, initially by 13 year old Shelbe Yousey, the son of a family friend Annie, and a pupil at ASL.  

The presentation took place on 9th February, via zoom, 450 students, aged between 10 and 14 years old were present, although, as schools in the UK are currently closed, pupils took part remotely.

Jackson focused on his early life and the struggle to be educated, whilst highlighting the courage and imagination shown by his parents to ensure that he and his siblings went to school! 

He described Nyaka’s history followed by its holistic approach that ensures everyone has access to basic human rights, namely: food and water, shelter, health care, education and employment. Jackson continued that the children of Nyaka were instilled with a “giving spirit” and were encouraged to help and support each other. He illustrated this by describing a boy who is unable to walk but who is carried to and from school each day by fellow students demonstrating the benefits of having a “giving spirit” versus the nastiness and bullying that some children experience at school.

The presentation ended with questions from students and a further question and answer session took place later that week. Jackson has also been invited to run sessions during ASL’s Aequitas week in March. 

We would like to thank teachers Payson Bullard, Sean Ross and Nicole Van Gasse for facilitating the presentation. Huge thanks also go to Shelbe Yousey whose idea it was in the first place! 

Thank you Shelbe!

To watch Jackson’s ASL presentation click here.

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