Roger Jackson’s life has been shaped by a desire to serve and care for people. His path has taken a variety of turns, but his commitment to making a positive impact on others has never wavered.
Jackson graduated from high school with honors. He chose to enlist with the Army because he felt it would provide him with an experience he couldn’t get in college. He traveled the world for four years and acquired a passion for service.
Starting out as a medic, Jackson worked hard to earn the ranking of Army nurse. The skills he learned in the military prepared him for a career as a traveling nurse once he completed his Army service. In 2006, he moved back to Indianapolis to work as a home health nurse, supplementing his income with work as a handyman.
With the birth of his first daughter, however, Jackson realized he would need more to provide for his family. “I had to man up and become a responsible adult for her,” he explains. “My children motivate me to do the best that I can as a father to provide. That meant going back to school and retooling my focus so that they will have a better life.”
That led Jackson to enroll at Ivy Tech in 2009. Finding a field of study was difficult at first, but he found a fit with the human services program, a discipline centered on providing support and care to others. It also gave him some flexibility since the field is relevant to many different careers.
“The one-on-one advising that I received made me comfortable in my decision making,” Jackson says. “I knew I was making the right choice about my future.”
Jackson adds that he thrived at Ivy Tech in part because of the personal attention he received. It was much different than his previous experience at another college, where he never quite felt at home. “Ivy Tech differs from other colleges,” he explains. “I was very comfortable with the amount of students in the classrooms, and I felt like the professors could get to know the students and cater to us when we needed them.”
Jackson’s future plans include continuing his education to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work. Ideally, he says, he would like to open his own practice as a therapist so he may continue to have a positive impact on the lives of others. Regardless of where life takes him next, he’ll forever remember his duty to serve.
“I have embraced the idea that what you put in is what you get out,” Jackson says. “Take advantage of what is offered to you, and leave a positive token wherever you go.”