In 2002, the summer before her senior year, Jiarra Jackson joined the Boys Hope Girls Hope program in New Orleans. It was the first year the program had a Girls Hope home. Her mother had passed by the time Jiarra was in the ninth grade, and her father was ill. He passed a month after she moved into the home.
“Boys Hope Girls Hope provided me a stable home environment where I could be a kid,” she said.
After a period of adjustment, going from the youngest in her family to the oldest in the home, Jiarra started to shine. She graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School and was accepted to the University of New Orleans.
“Boys Hope Girls Hope prepared me for college. I learned how to work with people and personalities, how to adjust to different environments and stressful situations, and when to ask for help or to test myself to see what I am capable of doing on my own.”
One of those stressful situations was Hurricane Katrina, which left Jiarra displaced from her University.
“I probably wouldn’t have finished college if it wasn’t for BHGH because I was so concerned with trying to find shelter. They helped me transfer to the University of Missouri – St. Louis for the semester, and I made the Dean’s List!”
She returned to New Orleans to finish her dual degree and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management & Business Administration. After, she attended Roosevelt University in Chicago where she earned her Master of Science in Hospitality, Tourism, and Business Management and a certification in Executive Leadership.
During and after college, she worked as in sales for Marriott International and the Hyatt Regency before going back to school to earn her licenses as a Realtor and Insurance Adjuster. She now works as a Total Loss Adjuster for Allstate Insurance in New Orleans.
Jiarra and her partner, Lionel, are proud parents to Jada and Jackson, two-year-old twins. The adorable duo keep them very busy having been in four motion pictures; however, Jiarra still makes giving back to Boys Hope Girls Hope and her community a priority.
Recently, Jiarra participated in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic 10K to raise funds for Boys Hope Girls Hope. She also volunteers at Covenant House and supports coastal restoration and construction projects around the city. Because of her volunteerism, Jiarra has been named as an Allstate Ambassador Super Star! Each year, Allstate honors a select group of Ambassadors as Super Stars who have made an impact on their local communities by going above and beyond to people first.