Woman turns adversities into gifts of scholarships for South GA grads

Woman turns adversities into gifts of scholarships to South GA grads

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Two South Georgia students are on their way to college thanks to a scholarship program from an Albany woman.

Laila Jackson is giving back after losing her son and home in 2017.

Jackson gave out one scholarship in honor of her son in 2017, two in 2018, and now three in 2019.

And for the first time, she gave out a scholarship to a student outside Dougherty County.

“You’re the first recipient, the first recipient outside of Dougherty County for 2019 for the #MalikScholarship in remembrance of my son, Malik Jordan,” Jackson said to a student.

A nice big check put a huge smile on Jalen Allen’s face. The recent graduate of Terrell County High School was given a $500 scholarship for his love for band.

“It helps a lot, like, with most of my fees down there in Middle Georgia,” said Allen.

Allen’s first year at Middle Georgia State University will now be a little less stressful.

Jackson’s son died in a car wreck in 2017, two weeks later, she lost her home in a tornado.

“It’s been a lot on my family since 2017,” said Jackson, CEO of Laila’s Lil Community Angels Malik, Inc.

But she’s still sticking to her pledge of giving back to students who love music like her son Malik.

This year was a little different because she expanded the Malik Scholarship to multiple counties and more recipients.

Chyna Ward, a graduate from Monroe High was also one of this year’s three recipients. She will be going to Benedict College.

Ward’s mom, Angela Perry-Ward, said she is grateful that Jackson decided to do this despite her adversities.

“When you bless someone else, a blessing will come back to you. It might not be materialistic but you’ll be blessed. And like I told miss Laila earlier that Malik is watching and he’s her angel,” said Angela.

Jackson’s push to honor her angel will continue to put smiles on many South Georgia graduates’ faces as they start their next chapters.

“You know, I know God didn’t give up on us so I can’t give up on him. So this is my push. This is something that gives me joy and helps me heal,” said Jackson.

Laila’s her organization was started right before her son died and she is hoping to give out more scholarships through her organization next year.

To find out how you can donate to this cause, you can contact her organization at (229) 314-1398, or you can donate on Cash App at $llcamalik96.

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