Hard work and focus have paid off for one Harrisburg high school senior. The Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg is honoring Ashlyn Jackson as their Student of the Year, but her accomplishments go way beyond the classroom. Jackson spent a lot of time alone growing up. Her father was an alcoholic and her mom had a full time job trying to support her. “I would try to stay with the Boys and Girls Club forever and make sure that in any way possible I can give back to them because they have given back to me” said Jackson as she fought back tears.
Her relationship with the Boys & Girls Club began at age 3 when Director of Operations Mark Hawthorne made an exception to the rule by letting her join at such a young age. “Ashlyn has a personality that doesn’t take no for an answer. She believes that she can achieve the highest dreams” said Hawthorne.
For Ashlyn that dream is to be a pediatrician. This Fall she’ll study pre-med at East Stroudsburg University and then plans to go to medical school. “I’m thinking John Hopkins University, but right now I’m just focusing on my post secondary education first” said Jackson.
Jackson also looks for opportunities to motivate and mentor others. The Boys & Girls Club couldn’t be more grateful. The club’s Executive Director, Yvonne Hollins, said “her childhood, growing up and her experiences throughout that are the experiences that many of our young people here have.” Jackson is an inspiration to those young people. “I feel like there’s always room to improve and work harder. But I think where I am so far, I’m very proud of myself” said Jackson.
Jackson will be speaking at the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg’s Legacy of Success fundraiser, which will be held on April 24th.