Shareef Jackson

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Scholars Program ‘94
 | Dwight-Englewood School ‘98 | Brown University ‘02 | MEM, Case Western Reserve University ‘03 | Founder, Math and Physics Tutor, Math Looks Good

“Kids everywhere deserve a great education. Why should they be limited based on where they grow up?”

Shareef Jackson was part of the very first class of New Jersey SEEDS Scholars, graduating from the 14-month program in 1994. “When I first heard about SEEDS, it seemed like it would be an interesting experience that would be a mix of challenge and fun. My mom also encouraged me to apply. She saw the potential of getting me into a better school system and jumped on it.”

During his time with SEEDS, Shareef learned many important lessons – both inside and outside of the classroom. “My favorite memories of SEEDS were reading The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and Black Ice by Lorene Cary. I never knew that there were schoolbooks that could speak to the experience of a minority. And the most important thing I learned with SEEDS was to be confident and stand behind my work, regardless of race, class, place of origin, or anything else. That has helped me in work situations where I am often the only minority in the room.”

Though he graduated from SEEDS as a rising ninth grader nearly 25 years ago, Shareef has made it a priority to keep in touch with the organization. “One of my favorite memories as a SEEDS alum was taking fellow grad Sasha-Mae Eccleston (Scholars ’98) on a tour of Brown. SEEDS put me in a position of opportunity, and being able to use that with someone that had been through a similar life situation was moving.”

For Shareef, SEEDS was a life-changing experience. “SEEDS opened up a world that I didn’t know existed, and my life has benefited positively from that. I am forever grateful and I’m proud to represent an organization that believes in improving the lives of kids across New Jersey.”