People who make Difference: Willie Jackson

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany man has spent decades encouraging students to stay in school and pursue an education. These students are fired up about their education thanks to the encouragement of The student Motivational Express Founder Willie Jackson.

"It was my intent to start a program that would enable kids to beat the odds and that is to encourage them and to be concerned about their education," said Jackson.

As the Assistant Principle for Robert Cross Middle school for 20 years, Jackson always knew it was his calling to work with kids, but it was a tragic event in 2002 involving one his students that really put things in perspective.

"I had a student that was killed by another student," said Jackson. So in 2007 Jackson started 'Pressing on Ministries,' and he volunteers his time with his Student Motivational Express Program. "Some words of wisdom that will number one get them fired up about education number two to get them focused about their education," said Jackson.

It's his words of wisdom that give students like Adetola Akinnubi of Student Motivational Express, the encouragement to do her best in school. "A lot of people they ask me why I like to make the grades that I do and it makes me happy," Akinnubi said.

Jackson says students can't be successful unless they have support "Let them know that you care, there's a slogan that you can con a con, you can trick a trickster but you can't kid a kid." It's his actions that his former students want to emulate as well. "It means a lot to come back and you know be a part of this you know I guess to make him proud," said Christopher Jenkins, a Student Motivational Express Volunteer.

"I am the richest man in the world, because I've had a chance to work with so many fantastic boys and girls," said Jackson. A richness that Jackson says has helped him to fulfill his purpose in life.

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