Behind The Classroom: Harlem Teacher Gives Back


October 17, 2022




, , , , , ,


(NEW YORK, N.Y.) — It’s not easy being a multi-business owner and full-time teacher, but for educators like Kevin Jackson it’s just another day. Since college, Jackson has been volunteering and aiding in different programs to give back to his community in Harlem, New York. It started when he volunteered for his fraternity, but now nearly a decade later, he has no plans on stopping. 

Jackson, 35, runs two businesses, where he leads program initiatives, food, and clothing drives for his community. When he’s not helping those in his neighborhood, he takes that motivation to the classroom where he teaches fourth-graders at Success Academy Charter School – Harlem 5. According to Jackson, “there’s always important lessons to be taught.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

The Click: What made you want to go into teaching?

Jackson: “It was an opportunity, that kind of just fell in my lap. And unbeknownst to me, I fell in love with it and the direct impact that you have on the trajectory of kids’ lives.”

The Click: Can you give an example of a time where you impacted a kid’s life?

Jackson: “I had a scholar who came in, he was brand new to the school, brand new to the network of schools. And he came in performing extremely low. As a result, he had to move down a grade. And when he moved down he was literally crying, bawling in tears, just requesting to come back to my class. He was saying, like, ‘I’m gonna do my work, I’m going to try hard. I just need to be in Mr. Jackson’s class, I just want Mr. Jackson’s class.’ So that kind of thing for me, was the aha moment to kind of realize my impact that I have on kids and that they’re highly invested into me. And because they’re highly invested in me, I can help shape or reshape their success with academics.”

The Click: What kind of things that do you like to do outside of teaching?

Jackson: “I have two businesses of my own, and we conduct several community services throughout the year, as well as in college, I started a mentorship program for Boys to Men. We started to help guide and foster young Black men when it gets to college, because there’s such a low retention rate in keeping young black men in college. So it’s basically just making sure that young Black men get to the end goal, which is to graduate college.”

The Click: How would you describe the business that you run?

Jackson: “It’s a promotion and an event coordination business and we have several initiatives that we have in Harlem. We have a clothing drive, we call it The Drip Drive, in which we take donations from various people with gently used or new clothing. Most commonly we go out on the streets and we hand them out to people who are less fortunate. We also have a turkey drive every year that we usually donate at least 253 turkeys families who need them. In Harlem Hospital, we collect toys, and we give them out to kids in Harlem Hospital, as well as kids in shelters. And we have a back to school drive that we do for kids in August.”

The Click: Wow, how do you even find a balance to do these kinds of things and also have a full time job?

Jackson: You don’t. You can’t complain that there’s a lot on your plate when the goal is to eat.

Related Posts

April 11, 2024

Nevada Seniors Learn Cybersecurity as Cybercrime Infects the Nation

The City of Reno is educating seniors about fraud and identity theft with a focus on cybercrime.

April 9, 2024

Texas Secretary of State Stops in El Paso for Voter Education Tour

El Paso County officials partnered with the Texas Secretary of State to improve voter turnout.