Alumnus Brandon Jackson’s personal narrative graced the cover of BRIGHT, a Medium publication that covers “what’s new in education.”
Headlined, “It’s OK To Sit Down and Think,” the piece reveals Jackson’s story of getting in trouble as a teen, surviving a shooting, bouncing around between schools, dealing with homelessness, and finding a family at LLA.
“At LLA I learned to appreciate family more,” he is quoted as saying in the “6 min” biography.
“I lived with my family, but it wasn’t a family vibe. When you come to LLA, you get the love, the support, the comfort. You make friends. Man, you even hang out with people from rival neighborhoods. When you got a friend that calls you out when you doing wrong, that’s a real friend.”
LLA storytelling partner Arjanna van der Plas, together with Diya Guha (Stories Behind the Fog / Free Range Puppies) and photographer Jonath Mathew brought depth and texture to Jackson’s deeply personal tale of overcoming obstacles and rising to become a community role model through United Playaz, where he works as a case manager. Van der Plas, who authored a previous profile about LLA alumnus Brianna Johnson, and another about the school’s Executive Director, Dr. Teri Delane, uses a first-person narrative style to capture the essential details of her subjects’ voices.