Today's "Share the Love" Feature: Mirakal Jackson, 2016 Graduate
Mirakal Jackson was highly ranked in ROTC at Marietta, won Homecoming Queen at Valdosta State her senior year, is now in her final year of her masters program and works as an academic advisor.
Below are some snippets from a letter Mirakal wrote in 2019 to let us know what the Marietta Mentoring for Leadership Program has meant to her:
Many people forget where they come from, but Marietta’s Mentoring for Leadership program will always be my home.
I could not be where I am today without Lynda Ausburn, Joyce Caldwell, Linda Beggs, Marge Kellogg, Beverly McAfee, Akella Clore, and many others. The drive of my success through high school was so I could use my education to directly impact the youth throughout and after college.
It was my freshman year in high school and I was sitting in class. A beautiful woman with exquisite copper hair came into one of my classes. She looked familiar. I had seen her around Marietta High School a lot. Her name was… Marge Kellogg. Mrs. Kellogg marched into that room in 2012 and looked me in my eyes and asked, “How are you today, Mirakal?” Little did she know, I was having a bad day. Little did she know, no one had asked me that in a while and meant it. At the time, I was lonely. I was sad. I was broken. I responded, “Good.” I did not ask how she was because I did not know who she was. I did not know why out of all the kids in the classroom, she chose to speak to me. But now… I get it. I get why she recruited me into the program. It was not because of my exceptional grades, or my AFJROTC potential, or my activeness in high school. It was because of me. She wanted to get to know me… Mirakal Jackson.
4 years later at graduation, I got to know her. I promised her I would not stop. I would keep that same light that God used her to light in me. I could not have graduated without this program. I could not have financially gotten through college without this program. This program believed in me before I could believe in myself. I know I am not the only one. MFL has been my sword and shield through the most emotionally brutal battles I have faced in my life. Struggling to find myself was the most gruesome battle I had to fight in high school. The funniest thing is I keep on changing because I keep on growing. This program has molded the courage and confidence it takes to do that. I could give you endless testimonies. I could write you books of what this program has done for me.
I have beaten the odds at every level of my educational experience in order to achieve success because of the MFL program. Because of this program, I am a champion. Because of this program and the scholarship given to me, I got a head start with no student debt in college. Because of this program, I have been blessed with my mentors that I respect so much, I see them as my mother. What I realize now is MFL has blessed me with a supportive community that loves me.
I take pride in being a Marietta Blue Devil, VSU Blazer, and MFL mentee. I will continue to be a discerning, socially flexible, and academically focused young artist who loves the MFL program.