A Harrisburg student is being honored for overcoming adversity. She has been named the Harrisburg Boys and Girls Club Student of the Year.
Ashlyn Jackson is a senior at Sci-Tech School in Harrisburg. She is at the top of her class with a 4.0 GPA.
She also has a resume a mile long.
“Right now, I am the president of Student Council, the vice president of National Honor Society, I’m a member in the Key Club, the International Club,” said Jackson.
When she graduates, Jackson will attend East Stroudsburg University to major in biology and pre-medicine. One day she hopes to become a pediatrician.
Jackson has a bright future, but you may not have guessed it when you hear about her past.
“I would be living with my dad for a week and then live with my mom for a week, or my mom in the summer and my dad during the school year, or every other day depending on how close they lived, and that was hard with going to school,” Jackson said.
At times, Jackson was homeless.
“My mom came back and she brought me back to Harrisburg. We didn’t have anywhere to live so we stayed with different family members,” she said. “We never had a constant place to stay. So when I came back, going to the Boys and Girls Club gave me structure.”
Jackson has been involved with the program since she was 3 years old. She credits the Boys and Girls Club with keeping her from going through the wrong doors.
“Because of the Boys and Girls Club, I am as academically successful as I am today,” she said. “Without the Boys and Girls Club, there’s no telling where I would be or who I would be.”
The most inspiring lesson she learned there was that when you feel like you are left with nothing, there is always someone who has less.
“So, with being a pediatrician, I want to build my own practice and venture into the world taking care of children and women around the world, making sure they know how to take care of themselves,” Jackson said.
It is that drive that has earned Jackson the Harrisburg Boys and Girls Club Student of the Year award, which makes her one of the top 14 students in the state.
“If you have a good support system, you can do whatever you want. You can be whoever you want,” she said.
At a fundraising event Thursday night, Jackson was the keynote speaker and was honored for her achievements.
She also earned enough scholarship money to pay her college tuition.