In Their Own Words: Cory Jackson

483630_4081658720821_154461167_nHometown:  Saginaw, MI

Background:  I am currently the Youth Development Director of Program Innovation at the YMCA of Western North Carolina where I oversee program curriculum for 17 afterschool sites, act as the liaison between the Child Care Services YMCA to the surrounding community, manage interns, and am spearheading a mobile feeding site for kids in Western North Carolina to provide nutritious meals and practical nutrition education.

I became involved in the nonprofit sector as a youth grant maker on the Saginaw Community Foundations’ Youth Advisory Council FORCE. Through FORCE, I was selected to serve as the first youth Trustee on the Saginaw Community Foundation Board of Directors. My work within the public realm continued into my undergraduate years at Grand Valley State University (Go Lakers!).  While attending Grand Valley I served as Coordinator for the Alternative Breaks program, founded the first ever interdisciplinary student development group on campus and was published by a nonprofit education journal.

Prior to joining the YMCA of Western North Carolina I served as Teen Program Specialist for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids and completed an AmeriCorps*VISTA year in Charleston, South Carolina at the Low Country Food Bank managing the nationally based nutrition education course, Cooking Matters.

Fun Facts:  I love spending time with my Fiancé and yellow lab exploring our new city; if I am not working or exploring, you can usually find me playing or coaching my youth hockey team.  I love seeing people express pure emotions in their element; because of this I am confident that there is no greater feeling than watching a puck blaze past a goalie and certainly no greater site than seeing a kid get their first goal while throwing their hands in the air.

Passion:  Simply put, I am passionate about changing the lives of young people. Whether it is putting positive role models in where there was not one before, getting kids moving, or providing experiences that open up new worlds, our nations young people need to be put on an equal playing field so all of their insight can be brought to light and shared.

Why women reVamped:  I am involved with this organization not only because it aligns with my passion to empower our youth but also because I think it is a rare, specialized concept in today’s society. This organization has the capacity, and the team, to make huge strides in the way of empowering young women and I am thrilled to have a small role in the bigger picture.

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