Demetrius Jackson ready to give back

Demetrius Jackson ready to give back

Peter Ariz
With 2014 signing day over, most signees are just focused on finishing their final months of high school and getting ready for the college. While that is partially the case for Demetrius Jackson, he has his sights set on something much more important than just working out. Jackson is in the process of starting his own non-profit organization that will put an emphasis on giving back to the inner city youth of Miami.

“The name of the foundation is going to be JUSTKids. It’s going to be a program where UM football players can mentor young kids and keep them out of trouble and out of the streets and be their male role models,” said Jackson.

Jackson says the program will be focused on the neighborhoods of Overtown, Opa-Locka, and Liberty City.

“I want to especially give back to Overtown because that’s where I’m from and we will be there to help them with anything they can, whether it be school work or just talking to them about things they are going through in life. We will be able to relate to them so it’s going to be a great mentorship program for them.”

The Miami signee has already taken an initiative to reach out to his future teammates and get them involved in the program as well.

“I talked to Chad (Thomas) about it today and I talked to (Braxton) Berrios about it too. I’m going to talk to Mike Smith, (Anthony) Moten, (Brad) Kaaya, and really as many dudes as I can. I’m going to reach out to the older dudes like Tracy Howard and Deon Bush too.”

Jackson has said before that he would like to be a pastor or motivational speaker once his football career ends and he believes that this could be the first step in taking him down that road.

“When I say give back, I mean I want to expose them to a whole different level. Most of these kids only know about Overtown and that’s not good for the mind. Who would of thought I would be going to UM? Nobody. My parents didn’t have the money to put me through a private school like that, so God gave me a talent and I want to be able to give them an early start and motivate their minds to stay focused and not worry about drugs, smoking, alcohol, and all that.”

The future Cane believes that now is the right time for him to get the program started since he has been dreaming about putting it together for years.

“I’ve been wanting to do this since I was in middle school, but now I have the platform to do it because I’m about to be at the University of Miami. My goal is for the whole nation to know me by my third or fourth year so that I can put this program out in front of me before my name so people will know what I stand for and what the University of Miami stands for.”

What are his major goals for the project?

“Eventually I want it to spread so that once those kids get to college, they’ll want to give back to their community like that and help out the way we are going to be helping them.”

On signing day, an emotional Jackson shared his disbelief of the moment. He is just now realizing that he will be a student-athlete at the University of Miami in a few months.

“Aww man, it’s set in. I’m an emotional dude and I express myself especially since I’m so grateful. I have no doubt that I will be successful both academically and athletically at the next level. Greats have played there and I can honestly say that when I took the tour, I could see myself on the banners with Dan Morgan and Sean Taylor. If I didn’t think it was the right place for me, I could have chosen any other school.”

After his basketball season ended on Thursday, Jackson’s athletic focus has turned to preparing for college football.

“My uncle used to be a boxer so I’m working out with him two or three times a week. I’m at my school weight room working out with my two cousins and I’m also doing 250 to 300 pushups a night. During my free periods at school, I go to the weight room to get a lift in and I’m drinking my protein-building supplement to go along with that. ”

Comments (48)

Wow - mature kid. My guess is he'll end up (if he's not already) a fan favorite throughout his career - Mike James-esque.
Good read, thanks.
Leaders are born, not made. UM is lucky to have this young man, both on the field and off.
I have the upmost respect for a guy who gives back to his community. Jackson is someone who you have to root for. I love getting great athletes with great personalities.
This is the type of kid you root for regardless if he ever has a meaningful down of college football at UM, or anywhere for that matter (though I think he will have plenty). Great head on his shoulders, knows what he wants out of life and is willing to go to any measure to achieve that. That's special. I wish this young man nothing but success.
Great interview Pete! Love hearing about kids with passion, and that have been through some trials and know the value of a positive role model. This kid it's gonna do great in whatever he chooses.
Wait. I thought he was gonna run JUSTKids from Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Honestly, that's a **** of a thing for the young man to do. Lots of guys would be busy, if not overwhelmed, with the life of a college athlete. He's starting up his own mentoring program. All the props in the world to him.

Glad we have players like him that want to give back and truly rep where they are from, rather than talk about 'business decisions' and flee to be yet another pawn in the racist business machine that is the $EC.
AWESOME story.

Can't wait to see his Senior Highlights, if they come out.
Love this kid. On and off the football field he is a stud.
Sounds like a pretty amazing kid. Efforts like this, from local guy especially, will go a long way in repairing ties between UM and the local community. Awesome stuff
What did we do? To have to go a long way to repairing ties with local community? Who's *** did we forget to kiss this time?