CHARACTER COUNTS

Eastmark’s Isaiah Jackson leaving footprint in school’s early stages

Jan 3, 2023, 5:55 AM

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Four years ago, Eastmark High School in Mesa opened its doors to a new wave of students. One of the incoming freshmen back in 2019 was Isaiah Jackson. Now in 2023, Jackson is just months from becoming one of the first graduates of Eastmark.

“It’s one of the reasons I wanted to go here,” Jackson said. “You get to build the tradition and be a part of the school’s history. You’ll always be on the walls as one of the first graduating from Eastmark.”

Not only will he have the title as one of the first to graduate from the school, but he’ll have other accomplishments that the following students will learn about. In athletics, Jackson played tennis since his freshman year.

“My friends told me I should start playing tennis and decided I would try it out,” Jackson said. “I honestly thought it was a lame sport before I started, but I learned it takes a lot of precision and time to play tennis well. You think you can just hop out there and you’ll be Serena Williams out there, but it actually takes a lot to be good at the sport.”

While in high school, Jackson has also spent time playing golf, musical instruments and dedicating his free time to volunteer service for Feed My Starving Children and St. Vincent De Paul. His dedication to community service comes with a specific life goal to help those in need.

“I eventually want to create a company that will really inspire the underserved and disenfranchised ethnic groups. That’s been a really big part of my life,” Jackson said. “I found a nice opportunity to get to see their point of view. … They’re just like us who just got put in unfortunate situations and I really wanted to help them.”

Serving those who are overlooked also inspired Jackson to assist in the establishment of the Eastmark Black Student Union club, bringing together a safe and fun community for fellow classmates.

“We’re just starting this year to get it more organized and it’s been hard, but we’ve just been trying to recruit, get people active, find some community service events and start fundraising to really help bring all the Black students together,” Jackson said. ” It’s nice to know that you started something to help many Black students and that you really created something to pass it on to the next students.”

Jackson’s impact on the club helped him earn the title of vice president of the club this year, continuing to make his mark as a leader. Performing well in the classroom, in athletics and in community service are all things Jackson credits his parents for installing in him.

“They really raised me to be a leader and taught me that education is very important in this household,” Jackson said. “They really raised me to be a successful leader and I give all the praise to them for that.”

Jackson now prepares for college. He’s heading to Arizona State University to study engineering, a passion that grew from learning from his uncle, John Edwards.

“When I was very young, he really introduced me to the technology drones. He taught me how to program a little bit, and that’s really what got me started,” Jackson said. “He always wanted me to do engineering, so I took to that path and started to like it. I programmed a little, small games and different types of technology. It’s really been a huge part of me.”

A few years ago, tragedy struck for Jackson and his family as Edwards passed away.

“It hurt me a lot because I really loved him,” Jackson said. “I just keep going to honor his memory and to do what he wanted me to do and I really enjoy it.”

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