“I’ve been trying to figure out what I’ve done, even though I hear from everybody, you do so much it’s hard for me to identify myself.”
Kendall Jackson Jr is not only a senior at Senn High School, the lead of Senn TV, and a licensed senior deckhand at Wendella Boat… he’s also the recipient of Loyola University’s most prestigious scholarship. Jackson recently received the Ignatius scholarship, a full ride to Loyola, where he will be continuing his academic career next semester.
His freshman year, he started working for Wendella Boat, located on the Riverwalk downtown. He first began as a dock attendant, a position his mother introduced him to. As a dock attendant, Jackson had to work as a runner – He would get food, clean the doc, and take care of other tasks. Jackson is currently working as a licensed senior deckhand.
While working for Wendella Boat, the 18-year-old was also leading Senn’s journalism program. He worked for Senn TV since his sophomore year and worked diligently to prove himself and produce videos that he was proud of. Jackson Jr said he has always been intrigued with videography.
“My biggest frustration with high school is that I had to wait for college to learn about it [videography],” he said. “There wasn’t any time dedicated for me to do it and I didn’t really have anywhere to go to show my interest in that, Journalism made me work with it and bring out my interest in it.”
Jackson, despite his countless accomplishments, said he wasn’t always as driven and motivated as he is right now. He credits his motivation to his aunt.
“My freshman year my aunt was murdered and it just changed my perspective on a lot of things, like I wasn’t in the same mindset as I’m in right now. So, when I lost my aunt, it made me mature more… it made me realized that I had to take care of a lot of people” he said. “I want to make sure everyone’s alright and just having the general sense of being aware of the peoples that’s around me and how much I want to help and how much I want to support them in multiple ways… I think that’s what motivates me the most.”
“If I’m not balanced and I’m not looking out for myself, then who is? I have to look out for myself and also help and look out for others too.” Jackson continued.
Jackson said he took this event and let it inspire him. Even though this tragedy was very difficult for him, he took it as an opportunity to push himself and flourish as an individual.
With Jackson’s newfound drive, his schedule was busy and chaotic, but he managed to find a balance and accomplish great things. I myself genuinely look up to Kendall and what he’s capable of.
“I’m still figuring out myself I just try to focus as much time on each task and make sure it’s to my liking,” he said.
Jackson Jr’s hard work throughout his four years of high school paid off when he received a full scholarship to Loyola University Chicago. He said that although he wasn’t certain with his decision to go to Loyola in the beginning, he now believes it’s the perfect fit for him.
“It’s a perfect fit for many reasons that I didn’t think about until I got it, Loyola has been a staple in my education for four years,” he said. “Loyola always being involved with the curriculum, is like just like, I’ve always been part of Loyola but I never sense to realize that… I’m leaving Senn yes and moving into a bigger campus but the same attitude and the same mindset isn’t going to be that much different because of all the stuff that Loyola’s provided for Senn.”
Jackson said that his painful past and resiliency proves he deserves his place at Loyola, and he hopes to bring his cheerful energy to his new campus.
“I don’t like the attention of myself that much I don’t like to take credit for a lot of things and not see myself in a positive way but just see me myself the way everybody sees me, this guy that can almost do anything, and I don’t see myself that way I see myself just trying something new.”