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Regina Jackson, President and CEO, has made it her mission to invest heavily in the future of children – our nation’s greatest resource. She has taken on the challenge of molding and mentoring young people in her hometown of Oakland, CA, in order to transform their lives. She believes that EOYDC’s biggest challenge is combating hopelessness. “When young people don’t have high expectations, they often won’t try. Because my staff and I believe our youth can perform at high levels, they often rise to, meet, and exceed those expectations,” she shares.
Ms. Jackson’s involvement with EOYDC began in 1984 when, as a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, she was invited to serve on the Board of Directors. While the mission is to develop the social and leadership capacities of youth, Ms. Jackson has done an excellent job of providing community engagement, youth empowerment and leadership development resources as well. She ensures that the Center offers a safe, nurturing environment. Ms. Jackson sets the strategic direction for the Center, and has created an environment where young people can grow and thrive. Her Theory of Change model – from which thousands of EOYDC’s youth have benefitted personally and professionally – is focused on character development, readiness and access.
Ms Jackson is responsible for fiscal management, business development, talent acquisition and cultivating partnerships with corporations and other organizations. She serves on statewide and community boards and task forces. Further, Ms. Jackson is often called as a subject matter expert to deliver papers, workshops, and presentations both domestically and internationally. The International Visitor Leadership Program has sought her expertise to counsel agencies in Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria. In 2013, Ms. Jackson led the Inaugural Northern California Delegation of the China-United States Exchange Foundation, also known as Think China. In preparation for their two-week travel to Beijing and Shanghai, the 13 San Francisco Bay Area African American high school students underwent six months of pre-travel leadership training, designed by Ms. Jackson. Her efforts have been tireless in setting a firm foundation and providing a replicable best practice model. She has charted a path for sustainable growth; gaining corporate, local businesses and hometown celebrity support. Since her tenure began, Ms. Jackson’s leadership can best be described in the words of the staff, board members, community leaders and clergy, “as a stabilizing force for the Center’s curriculum and a positive anchor for the challenges of the 21st century.” Simply put, she has implemented a successful strategy, which has had a positive impact on urban, multicultural youth.
Ms. Jackson was inducted into both Bishop O’Dowd High School and Alameda County halls of fame. Additional distinctions include: The Fannie Lou Hamer Emerging Leader Award from UC Berkeley, the Jefferson Award for Community Service, the National Coalition for 100 Black Women Advocacy Award, California Legislature’s Woman of the Year, Pine Sol Powerful Difference Award, Comcast Hometown Hero, and KQED Unsung Hero Award. Ms. Jackson completed the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education High Potentials Leadership Program. She was featured in Shawn Anderson’s 2010 book, Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose. Ms. Jackson was also profiled in ABC’s World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer: Ron Claiborne’s Going Home – Looking for What Works.