Family makes graduation memorable for students at HISD school

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Friday, May 29, 2015
Houston family makes graduation memorable for students
While many families dream of building a legacy based on fame or fortune, one is building a legacy based on service

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Graduation season is always a special time, but one Houston area family is making the day unique for students at one local school. While many families dream of building a legacy based on fame or fortune, one family is building a legacy based on service that's Houston Strong.

To the students at Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy, a husband and wife team are real life super heroes like those they've read about in children's books. It's not because they're famous and not because they're rich.

"We have no money. We have no money. And you really don't. The reality is if you have a support system around you if you have a great community that is supporting the efforts that you're initiating, it can be done," Ronald Jackson said.

Seven years ago, Ronald and Regina Jackson launched the Elliot Chandler Foundation with sons Langston and Parker. Their goal: to teach their own boys about service, and get other boys into college and graduate.

"The day of the ceremony, we received a scholarship. It felt like a great accomplishment for me," student Hammad Muhammad said.

At the Elliot Chandler annual gala in March, their foundation awarded $34,000 in scholarships to boys from all over Houston, including 19 to Mickey Leland students. Each senior received $1,000.

"Well I was happy 'cause that's a $1,000 I don't have to worry about," student Keenan Montgomery said.

Their work does come with a wonderful payoff: Watching a graduating class in which every student is off to college with the shared joy of being financially rewarded for their hard work.

The Jackson family takes pride in playing a small part, and challenges you to consider what you can contribute.

"If you're passionate about it, just step out, do it. Have your goals, and ya know like we said, we didn't know really how we were gonna do it but we knew we had to do it," Regina Jackson said.