According to Hodges alumnus Kevin Jackson, maintaining a positive attitude is a key element to earning a degree at Hodges University. Finding the balance between a full-time job, a family and school, he persevered through personal and physical struggles in order to earn his degree and open his own business in Southwest Florida, Actions Computer Repair LLC.
“My professional title is an information systems manager. I maintain thousands of computer and technology systems throughout Southwest Florida,” he explained.
Starting his business in 2008, it wasn’t until 2010 that he made the decision to go back to school, saying, “I wanted to have the formal credentials under my belt. I wanted to prove that I not only had plenty of hands-on experience in my field, but also the formal education backing my skill set.”
After watching a commercial on TV, which featured community leaders who attended Hodges, he envisioned himself becoming one of those leaders. Realizing its reputation throughout the community, Jackson enrolled in Hodges’ information systems management program.
Going back to school proved to be difficult at times. Serving four years in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2004-2008, he joined the military at 17 years old and completed three tours in Iraq, as well as in other locations throughout the Middle East. Suffering a traumatic brain injury caused by an IED during the war, he had trouble remembering various pieces of information for tests while at Hodges.
“This disability caused great stress throughout my time at Hodges… I overcame this issue by proving to myself throughout the entire semester that I knew all of the information, and I could put it to use through physical demonstrations,” he said.
Enrolled in a program that provides hands-on experiences with software and hardware, he admits many of his test scores were not “stellar;” however, he showed a clear understanding of the material when required to perform practical application. His dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed. Not only was he on the dean’s list, but he was also selected to be the Student of the Year in 2011 for the computer information technology program.
In 2013, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree, saying, “The time seemed to fly by…because of the mature students in class, the atmosphere, leadership and overall comfortable feeling every time I entered through the doors. As a student, you have to go in every day eager to learn and ask as many questions as you can. Leave no stone unturned. Also, think long and hard about which degree you are seeking.”
Now with his educational credentials to add to his business’ reputation, he enjoys working with individuals who need expert IT support. Providing residential and business assistance, he admits the rewards of his position include “teaching people who at first don’t know simple processes such as how to check their email. One year after working with me, they connect through the world of Skype to their loved ones either in the states or overseas, play music over their Sonos systems using their iPad, use their Samsung or Apple smart phone effectively and efficiently, etc. Nothing excites me more than touching people’s lives and instilling confidence in their use of technology.”
However, while he finds excitement in helping others with their technology needs, it is wife, Brittany, and their two sons, Phoenix and Everett, for which he is most proud. Forced to grow up quickly, Jackson moved around a lot as a result of adoption. Now, as a father, he admits, “Personally, my greatest accomplishment is the family my wife and I have created. We are giving each other and our boys something I never had or witnessed growing up as a child.”