To be an Epithet of Achievement

BY: ANDRE K. CRENSHAW JR.

If you are currently or were a student at California State University of Long Beach, you know how rigorous the college lifestyle can be. Especially when you have to find the balance between academics, work, personal life and extracurricular activities. CSULB Alumnus Kevin Jackson, Esq. can attest to this lifestyle. “I was at CSULB to go to school, so school came first," Jackson said. "I would sacrifice work, extracurricular activities and personal and social events if I had to, for school.”

Jackson graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice and was actively involved on the CSULB campus during his undergraduate career. His extracurricular involvement in CSULB Law Society, Student African American Brotherhood and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. acted as an outlet from his coursework.

Jackson’s involvements with the Epsilon Kappa of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. lead him to coordinating an annual toy drive for children in the greater Los An­geles Area.

“Extracurricular activities look good on a resume. The more orgs you are involved in, the greater your network is. Down the line, you are connected with so many people achieving so much.”

College can also challenge students to overcome obstacles from time to time. During Jackson’s first year he received poor grades, but he buckled down, prioritized school and was rewarded for his efforts by graduating with honors.

“I sacrificed everything for school because it was my priority. I had a part time job, but I sacrificed hours if I needed to study. This, in turn, affected the things I could afford and the things I wanted to do.”

Before attending law school, Jackson successfully completed legal internships with NBCUniversal, the Oakland Raiders, and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. He also served as an extern to the Honorable Patricia M. Schnegg, the Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Criminal Courts.

In 2014, Jackson graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he received Academic Honors during all three years of attendance and earned CALI Awards for Excellence in Legal Research & Writing I, Legal Research & Writing II, and Civil Procedure.

When asked, “What does achievement mean to you?”

Jackson said, “Achievement to me is a personal assessment of your actions. It is setting personal goals and standards for you, and completing those goals while abiding by those standards. Someone telling you that you have achieved feels good, but only you can judge whether you have done so because you are the creator of the goals and standards that you set for yourself.”

For students pursuing those degrees, Jackson has advice for you.

“Be selfish, make mistakes and fail, but not your classes! Get back up and try again. Network, get work experience, and most importantly, whatever you choose to do, do it with your best effort!”