Men Who Inspire Spotlight: Entrepreneur and Advocate, Anthony Jackson
The U.S. releases over 7 million people from jail and more than 600,000 people from prison each year. However, recidivism is common due to issues like difficulties finding employment, affordable housing, physical and mental health care and education. Some statistics show that over 40 % of formerly incarcerated individuals return to prison within a year of release. One man who refused to be a part of that number is entrepreneur, Anthony Jackson.
Anthony Jackson serves as a Public Relations Consultant in the marketing industry while studying Business Administration at The University of Baltimore. He’s dedicated to spreading information about education within prison institutions. Released from prison himself in December of 2020, Mr. Jackson served over 13 years in a state ran institution. Originally sentenced to 25 years, his sentence was modified in 2019 because of his magnificent transformation. While incarcerated, Anthony took part in coordinating self-help modules for youth offenders and building a program of his own. From there he put on a keen focus into education and enrolled in non-credited college courses for two years. With a dream to one day attend college and earn actual credits, Anthony’s dream came true. In 2012, President Barack Obama brought back Pell Grants for incarcerated citizens as a pilot program allowing colleges to enter institutions and teach accredited courses to inmates. By the grace of God, he was selected to take part in the very first cohort of The Second Chance Pell Grant Program that President Obama enacted. In 2017, Mr. Jackson begin his freshman year at the University of Baltimore under its Second Chance Program in prison. Since being released in 2020, his journey to inform society about the benefits of college in prisons has been a part of Anthony’s reentry process. Within months of beginning release, Anthony worked as a program coordinator for the From Prison Cells to Ph.D. program. This is a nationwide program and non-profit organization assisting returning citizens with acclimating to society and getting them enrolled into colleges in their area.
Not being reluctant on telling his story, Anthony has been featured on podcasts and in national magazines. Today, he’s proud to say he’s a member of the University of Baltimore’s Helen P. Denit Honors Program and on the road to earning a bachelor’s degree. Nevertheless, he never seen himself working the in public relations field, but has grown to love and enjoy it. As a Public Relations Consultant, Mr. Jackson has stimulated the growth of a variety of small businesses and brands with countless, strategic media placements across the nation. In addition to his ultimate goal, he is striving with aspirations of growing his own business, Expedite Vending.
We learned more about Mr. Jackson‘s inspiration in an interview.
Tell us a little about your business.
Anthony: I am the owner of Expedite Vending Services where we provide high-quality vending services to locations throughout Maryland and Houston. Over the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed how lucrative vending machines are.
What was the inspiration behind starting your own business?
Anthony: The inspiration behind starting my vending services was to earn passive income, show my family entrepreneurship should be the way to go, and being my own boss. As a teenager, I had different jobs but I hated working for someone else. I always felt having my “own” would aid me on a journey to assist myself, family, and others more effectively.
How do you feel your incarceration helped shape you into the man you are today?
Anthony: My incarceration enabled me to grow in various ways. The main and the most important I believe was discipline. While in prison I made sure that I surrounded myself with individuals who made that change within themselves already. I accept interdependency at its highest and was rewarded with an abundance of education about myself, history and about life. Although I graduated from high school, prison was the first time I ever read a book from beginning to end. I learned how to see things all the way through.
What do you define as success?
Anthony: I define success as being in my own peace while simultaneously providing and protecting my family.
Who is your business role model? Why?
Anthony: I have multiple business role models. The first is Jay-Z. He’s a great example of never stop educating one’s self. We all met him through Hip-Hop in the 90’s. But today he’s a billionaire and a very low percentage of his fortune comes from music. Second is Robert Kiyosaki because he taught me that the number one investment isn’t stocks or real estate but time. I Invested my time wisely during my incarceration and accomplished so much, even my freedom.
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