By David Marcus, WOU student
Key Jackson, one of our amazing Western Oregon Plus team alum, majored in early childhood education. Coming from Neah Bay, Wash., Key’s passion for children and strong desire to educate youth attracted her to Western Oregon University’s wonderful teaching program and campus.
“I was actually planning on attending OSU, but felt so at home here. As soon as I stepped onto WOU’s campus, I knew I had to go there,” she said.
Key made many memories here at WOU. Starting before college, at Western Oregon’s leadership camp she attended before her senior year of high school, all the way to graduated college. Her fondest memory was being a Plus Team member. “Watching the folks from my team grow from their first day on campus to the day we graduated was an experience I’ll never forget. WOU was my first taste of social justice and activism. Once I saw my potential as an advocate for my community I knew I needed to continue on that path.”
Currently, Key is working as the Educational Justice program manager for a non-profit organization names GSAFE: Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools. Her vibrant leadership skills she developed from Plus Team, along with her experiences she had here at Western Oregon University, molded her into the strong and powerful leader she is today.
“My experience at WOU prepared me for this path in that it helped me realize that I have a powerful voice and ability to create change in my community. I was encouraged to develop my leadership skills at every turn.”
When looking back on her journey here at Western Oregon University, the only thing she would have done different was to “pace” herself. “There are so many opportunities that exist in the world, as a student you are unstoppable and have unlimited potential. It’s okay to take time to find what works for you. Also, enjoy your ability to pull all nighters while it lasts!”
As well as advice for the upcoming graduate class, The Key advice that was given was that education doesn’t just stop after graduation. The world is a vast place where new information is taken in every day. “Don’t for a second think that your education is finished just because you’re graduating. It’s a big world out here and there is plenty to learn if you keep yourself open to new experiences.”
We are proud to have had the opportunity to mold young minds like Key Jackson here at Western Oregon University, and excited to see the many more successful stories to come.