“They showed me that having compassion for our fellow man is something that bestows a blessing upon us,” said Jackson, 65, founder and director of Kikstart Inc., a program that provides food and educates communities on the importance of nutritional awareness.
Kikstart distributes food boxes to needy families and hosts a summer lunch program that provides free meals to children, as well as a back-to-school drive and an after-school program that provides tutoring, mentorship, and activities for students.
“I got to travel a lot, and it was a very exciting field to be in,”said Jackson, who also earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky in 1986 and a PhD in computer information management from the University of New Mexico in 1989.
Kikstart began in 2001 after Jackson and his wife attended a church in Phoenix, Arizona, that didn’t have a lunch program.
“We started feeding kids at the charter school and the church, and other charter schools started asking where they were getting their meals from,” Jackson said.