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Young Trailblazer Nominee

Devyn Jackson

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Nominations

Nominated By Drew Houston

Devyn is a scholar, athlete, artist, burgeoning activist, and a kind-hearted and benevolent community member, all before officially reaching adulthood. Her achievements in just one of these categories are notable, therefore it is all the more noteworthy that she excels in each of them. 

As a senior at Mesa Ridge High School, she maintains over a 4.0 GPA, and is currently president of the Mesa Ridge Chapter of the National Honor Society. Although the pandemic has impacted the season, Devyn is a varsity Soccer athlete, was nominated to be team captain, and has aspirations of playing in college. Because she is always looking for ways to positively contribute to her community, Devyn has volunteered with Kids on Bikes, the Southeast YMCA, the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum, and spread holiday cheer at a time when it was most needed this year as a Bell Ringer for the Salvation Army. 

Arguably one of the most impressive things about Devyn is her boldness in advocating for social justice and racial inclusion, especially at such a young age. She has spoken to decision makers at her school about making History classes more inclusive and representative of accurate history. Devyn has also served in ‘Sources of Strength’, a program dedicated to suicide prevention among high schoolers, and many other programs and committees throughout her matriculation at Mesa Ridge High School. 

Her artwork has been featured and awarded prizes in local art shows, and she consistently finds new ways to express herself creatively. Unconcerned about “fitting in” with the crowd, she is a natural leader who is comfortable in being authentically herself.

My Black Colorado Interview

If you are in school, what school do you attend and what year are you in?

Senior at Mesa Ridge High School

What do you think others would say that they like the most about you? explain why.

They would say kindness, trustworthy and a great listener, because these are skills maybe not every 17 year old possess.

When you are not in a class, what are things you enjoy being involved with? explain why.

I plan for school clubs and organizations, I craft, paint, or you can find me on the soccer field.

What is the best advice someone has given you recently, who gave you the advice, and how does it apply to your life?

The advice was from a movie, it reminded me that the goal isn’t to be better than someone else, it’s about being better than your past self. This quote inspires me to wake up every day and strive to be a better me.

What is one thing you want to get better at?  explain why.

One thing I’m working on improving is overthinking. From school to soccer to art projects, I find myself making things harder than they should be. I am working on remembering that stressing only adds unnecessary pressure; whereas I should focus on composure and levelheadedness instead.

What do you think is one piece of advice that you think adults need to hear, to help them connect with the younger generation better.

I would tell adults to truly listen and comprehend what younger generations are saying. Adults obviously have more past experiences. However, this is a new world; this technology and media-driven society is unlike anything seen before. Learning does not have an age limit. To make things brighter we’ll have to work together, combining and learning from the present and the past.

What accomplishments or awards are you most proud of? explain why? 

As I think of all the athletic and academic awards I’ve received, the one I think of first is what my coach’s named “The Freaking Devyn Award” – my team nickname. It was presented to me after the soccer season, “in honor of your outstanding performance, spirit, attitude and dedication”. This award not only recognizes my hard work and results but it also captures my individuality. The fact that my coaches went out of their way to make this one of a kind award for me tells me that I’ve truly had an impact on them.

What impact have you made in the community that you are most proud of? explain why?

Community involvement has been a part of my life from a young age. My first project was making bracelets for kids at Memorial Hospital. Since then I’ve assisted in events and organizations around Colorado Springs. I am most proud of the time I spent at our local “Kids on Bikes”. Over a summer I learned my way around a bike shop, assisted with inventory and put together supplies for the riding camps. I will always remember the people I met and the value of a good bike ride.

What do you think you want to do for a career.  Explain why?

After graduation, I would like to have a career that involves traveling, teaching and learning. I would like for this career to have a wholesome impact on my life as well as the world around me.

What role have your parents played in helping you excel in life?

For a long time, I’ve been asked things like “why do you care so much?”, or “how do you find the motivation?”. When I first got these questions, I didn’t know the answer. I believed it was just a type of instinct I had and in a way, I wasn’t wrong. Recently, I realized that when you have a family that supports you in everything you do, loves you fiercely every day, and respects you enough to give honest advice, you will conquer the world to honor all they’ve done for you. My mom, dad and brother have taught me many things. I always strive to work 3 times as hard, expect a result equal to my effort and have hope in God. I do all that I do first for myself, and always for them.

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