Selina Jackson shocked us all by opening up her speech at Highlands Winter Graduation with an earth-shaking song.
Being the brave soul she is, Selina decided that singing at the beginning of her speech would help to calm her nerves. For many, that seems counterproductive, to sing instead of speak, but for Selina, who has dealt with a lot in her life, it makes sense.
Selina’s educational journey began at our partner organization The Greater Sacramento Urban League.
“In the midst of homelessness, Sacramento Urban League provided me with a place to live with my family, and eventually I was able to save enough to get my own 2 bedroom home that I have today,” Selina said.
This was a new start and a way to release Selina from the hindrances that had held her back.
“People started to show me that I’m a better person than grinding on the streets and getting that extra money,” she said. “They showed me that I’m bigger and more powerful than I thought I was. I learned to not let anyone pull me out of character just because they have power over me.”
In her speech at graduation, Selina explained that even once she was on track, things kept popping up that threatened to keep her from her goals and dreams.
“I lost my mother, but yet I was still determined to go to school and, in the midst of that, I had a baby. I was still pressing everyday to get to school,” Selina remembers. “Two weeks before the deadline, I went into labor. I was so determined – in-and-out of consciousness telling the nurse I have to turn my math packets in, I have to do a presentation, but the nurse said, ‘Not today, we’re having a baby.’”
Having a newborn kept Selina away for a little while, but she was back before anyone knew it and with a new found determination to complete what she started.
“It was a journey,” she said,” and I appreciate everyone who pushed me to where I am today. My goals have changed. I’m on the verge of getting my Bachelor’s in Film Science. Thank you to those for loving me and accepting me for who I am here at Highlands.”