Steven R. Jackson wants to help change the near 50% high school dropout rate in his home town.
Steven R. Jackson is one of the NFL’s most personable players – easily recognizable by his dreadlocks and unique fashion style.
Player 39 on the team of the St. Louis Rams, he finished his rookie season with 643 yards and 4 touchdowns, and 19 receptions for 189 yards. In 2008 Jackson signed a six-year, $44.8 million contract with the Rams.
The youngest of three children, raised by parents who taught him solid values, Jackson spent his childhood in Las Vegas going to church, as he says, “from Sunday to Sunday.”
An excellent student who was more likely to be found with his books than on the playing field; a poem he wrote at age ten told the story of a much bigger dream he had in mind – playing in the NFL!
After being selected as first running back in the 2004 NFL draft and spending almost a decade in the League, getting a good education is still crucial to Steven Jackson and is why he created the Steven Jackson Foundation.
The focus of the foundation is literacy and developing strong educational values among youth while working to reduce the high school dropout rate.
A native of Las Vegas, Jackson wants to help change the near 50% high school dropout rate in that area.
“Me being from there, I wanted to encourage students to stay in school, to not take the easy way out and feel like there’s no future in education,” Jackson said. “There are so many possibilities.
The longer you stay in school as you approach your undergrad not only do you mature as a person, but you meet people that turn out to be lifelong friends.
You don’t want them to miss out on those opportunities and earning that education and I believe a lot of kids judge me as a solid foundation, where they feel that they have the support and people that care.”
2009 went down as one of SJ39’s best seasons yet when he crossed the 1,000 yard barrier for the fifth straight year and, after surgery on a herniated disc, he was ready in 2010 to take the Rams back into playoff contention.
He did – and eclipsed 1,000 yards on the ground for a sixth straight season; a mark reached by only ten other running backs before him. The rest, as they say, is history…
In 2009, SJ39 released the highly praised web documentary “In the Life” – a three-part look at his life and the path that led him to become one of the NFL’s brightest stars.
He sent waves over the web when he released the second in the series, giving viewers never-before-released details about him. Drawing rave reviews, the series earned a Webby nomination for Best Online Sports video, competing with ESPN, the Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball and the Onion – proving once again that whatever Jackson turns his hand to, it’s successful.
If you ask Jackson the proudest moment in his professional life he will tell you it was in Tampa Bay when he passed all-time great and Hall-of-Famer Eric Dickerson, to move into first on the Rams career rushing list with 7,248 yards. In his personal life, foremost would be his pride in his young son and, secondly, in the Steve Jackson Foundation.
Success goes way beyond personal fame with Jackson – he gave his team hope that what was once years away now seemed attainable.
Typical of this exemplary role model is that while he was being selected to be in the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, he was also being recognized in his hometown for his many charitable efforts and his work to help reduce the high school dropout rate.
In addition, Steven was featured in ESPN The Magazine’s third annual Body Issue – the only NFL player to receive this unique distinction. Any way you look at it, the future could not be brighter for Steven Jackson.
For more information on this NFL superstar and all-around great guy, visit: www.sj39.com.
She teaches at California State University, East Bay and is known as America’s Most Trusted Learning Expert. She helps children and adults solve learning problems with her Amazing Grades Study Skills System and is an expert in learning styles.
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