On Tuesday, May 21, the unconventional speaking and business networking event, DisruptHR/Charlottesville featured Justin Jackson, a C4K youth member, and 9th grade Charlottesville High School student.
Justin’s warmth and sense of humor brought to life his fascinating perspective in: “Class Dismissed! Personalized Pathways to High School Graduation.” Justin (who interns at C4K through the City of Charlottesville’s CAYIP program) is thought to have been the youngest DisruptHR speaker in the history of the international event series!
Reflecting on his experience as a presenter, Justin said:
“I never expected that I would be able to do this talk. I thought I would be so nervous and freeze. But when I walked up on stage, I loved being able to speak to people about what I’m passionate about. Being able to be entertaining and getting them engaged in my message was probably the highlight for me. I loved getting everyone laughing. I hope the audience heard that project-based learning could transform the way young people learn in high school. Some high schools and colleges are already changing their curriculum, and I hope more do soon. The event organizers Dirk and Lily and my mentors at C4K helped me prepare. In the weeks before the event, we worked on how to speak more fluently and get rid of extra words. Also, to add a lot more feeling to my presentation, to emphasize certain words and add some “pizzaz” to my speech!”
Reflecting on his time as a C4K member, Justin said:
“C4K has honestly played one of the most significant roles in my life to date. Before I came here, I was pretty introverted. I didn’t go out much, except for school. So when I started as a C4K Intern, I was nervous. This place is so welcoming. Everything is taught through project-based learning. They’ve helped me get into things I’ve always wanted to do, like creating a video game and learning to code. I’ve learned to be independent, and now I am working with technology that takes me out of my comfort zone. I am learning how to present myself well. There is a real and distinct difference in my life from before I joined C4K.”
Over $5,000 was raised for C4K at the event which hosted 14 speakers who each had five minutes to give their input on how to make the workplace better. All funding will go toward supporting youth through mentoring, ultimately equipping youth for college and future careers.
Watch CBS19’s news coverage here.