KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Warm hugs and motivating pep talks: These are the high moments for Charlesetta Jackson.
“I always wanted to teach,” she said.
Twelve years ago, Jackson walked into New Chelsea Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas, ready to serve as a parent liaison, ready to make a difference.
“It allows the children to learn that someone is invested in their education,” she said.
And it’s an investment that’s yielding a lifetime of results.
“She’s good. She helps me every day. She’s my teacher, and I had lunch with her, and she just makes me feel so good,” 6-year-old Sa’Myuh Coty said.
Jackson’s everyday hustle centers around making sure young KCK students like Coty have the best so they can grow up to be the best.
“Every child that wanted a brand new pair of shoes, they gave them a brand new pair of shoes,” she said. “And some of them were bought two pair of shoes and some socks.”
Through her community partnerships and connections, donations, services and resources pour into the school.
“You don’t know unless you ask,” Jackson said. “You don’t know who’s willing to help unless you present an opportunity.”
Because she cares, 600 children and their families are taken care of.
How she was able to garner nearly 500 love bags filled with a blanket, toiletries and clothes — the students may never know. But they’re thankful.
For Jackson, it’s just another way she shows her love.
“Much that is given, much is required,” Jackson said. “And I serve Christ, and I would like to know that … when you help the babies, you are helping the family. It’s an opportunity. I feel like it’s an extension of serving Christ.”
And her compassion reaches beyond the walls of this KCK school.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she started a community food pantry. It sits right outside the school doors, but anyone in need has access. Jackson makes sure the donations are rolling in to keep it stocked.
“At some point in time we all need a hand,” she said. “So we stock that with canned goods, shelf-stable items.”
That’s in addition to the much-need mobile food pantry that comes once a month, free of charge, to the school and the backpack buddy program she coordinates with local organizations.
Through her incredible work, students at New Chelsea Elementary are also learning a life lesson about caring for others.
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, 6-year-old Coty had a simple answer: “Like Ms. Jackson.”
“‘Cause she takes care of kids. She helps kids. She helps them learned,” Coty added.
Unable to have children of her own, Jackson said the hundreds of students at New Chelsea are her children. And for as long as she can, she’ll continue helping because it’s just in her heart.
“My mission statement for my life is to help make somebody else’s child better.”
And for that, Charlesetta Jackson is a remarkable woman.