Born on May 18, 1946, Reginald Jackson, known affectionately today as Reggie Jackson, was one of the finest players to ever grace the game of baseball. His numerous achievements and accolades have been duly recognized by the worldwide baseball community as evidenced by his inclusion into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. Jackson's career in professional baseball spanned a total of 21 seasons in Major League Baseball. He is often referred to as 'Mr. October' owing to his unparalleled capacity for 'clutch hitting'. One of Jackson's finest moments that has certainly contributed to his nickname was when he hit three consecutive home runs in the 1977 World Series, to win the game for his team.
Over the course of his career, Jackson played for five different teams including the Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and the California Angels. Jackson has a laundry list of awards and achievements, most notably being a five time World Series Champion, being voted Most Valuable Player in the World Series on two separate occasions, not to mention being voted into the All Star Team 14 times.
Jackson's exposure to the world of baseball gave him an invaluable perspective on the ways in which minorities in the United States were disadvantaged. Recognizing his own significance as a cultural icon, Jackson began implementing a plan to develop a non-profit organization that provided a platform for children from underprivileged backgrounds and minorities to educate themselves and define their own futures.
In the year 1997, Reggie Jackson established the Mr. October Foundation for Kids with the intention to "bridge the digital divide". Jackson has spoken on numerous occasions of his belief that unless minorities and underprivileged children had the technological means to educate themselves, they would only become further disadvantaged over time. The organization is a completely non-profit one and functions solely on the support and donations of willing contributors.
Mr. October Foundation
There are three main facets to the organization, the first of which is the provision of grants. The Mr. October Foundation provides a range of grants and scholarships to children in the pursuit of academic enrichment. These grants are of course conditional in nature, but are aimed toward inspiring curiosity within the youth, and providing them with a means by which they can explore and cultivate their academic interests. The program also provides scholarships for children studying in grades between six and 12. College students can also avail of these grants if they are pursuing degrees in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.
The second facet of the organization relates to a mentoring initiative where children with interests in technology are exposed to professionals in their favored disciplines. The organization's intention is to lubricate a path of learning by developing partnerships with some of the finest academic institutions across the country.
Finally, the organization also includes an Internship program that allows blossoming students to make the transition from college to the workplace as seamlessly as possible. The Mr. October Foundation has developed associations with a number of large corporations, with the intention to provide career opportunities for underprivileged children, helping them gain valuable work experience, and hone their career-related skills.
Read " Reggie: The Autobiography" by Reggie Jackson with Mike Lupica.