If you find Ronnie Jackson in his office at the City of Bryan's municipal building, congratulations. He's normally out and about in the community he joined in 1989.
"I really thought I'd only be here about five years, moved here and fell in love with the community," said Jackson. "I tell them now, it'll take the troops to get me out."
As the coordinator for Neighborhood and Youth Services for Bryan, Jackson's responsibility lies with bringing people together and opening lines of communication. He regularly leads meetings with neighborhood associations and answers any and all questions pertaining to their efforts.
For most, that job would count for enough, but city work isn't all Jackson's about.
"This is a community that allows you to get engaged in what you want to get engaged in," Jackson said, "so the only restrictions to your involvement is your own."
That's why Jackson is involved in numerous youth organizations. The former Bryan ISD employee who eventually moved to the city staff works with Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, the Children's Miracle Network, First Book, MHMR, and numerous other youth organizations and church groups.
That includes BISD's HOSTS Program: Helping One Student to Succeed.
Find out more about HOSTS at BISD by clicking on the link at the end of this story.
"It's that one day of the week that I know somebody is going to be glad to see me," Jackson said. "The kids that you work with in HOSTS are always so appreciative when you come and spend that one-on-one time with them."
The 30-minute tutoring session is a small piece to the large puzzle that is Jackson's community efforts.
"If I can come up with one little solution that improves the life of a kid or his family or something along those lines, then it's all worth it for me," Jackson said.
Kids drive Jackson. As a kid, he learned from his mother, a teacher, and his father, a scout leader, that taking time to impact young people will help them be better adults.
Jackson says when it comes to the lower class members of the community, it's education that will make sure they don't fall into that same class as adults.
"They're honest, extremely entertaining, energetic," Jackson said of the kids he gets to work with, "and this is a great community for kids, a great community to raise kids in."
And the kids' energy may only be matched by what Jackson brings to the table.
"One day, I want to be sitting on the back porch rocking in my rocker, and I want to know I've handed it over to somebody that's going to keep it going," he said.
That day is likely within the next ten years or so, according to Jackson, who says he'll never stop volunteering for programs like HOSTS and others that impact kids' lives.
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