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“Building Dreams” Former Indianapolis Colt Marlin Jackson working to impact the lives of Indy’s youth

<i>WRTV</i><br/>An organization created by former Indianapolis Colt
An organization created by former Indianapolis Colt

By Adam Schumes

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    INDIANAPOLIS (WRTV) — An organization created by former Indianapolis Colt, Marlin Jackson, is hoping to change the lives of Indianapolis youth.

“We teach it as decision making,” Jackson told WRTV.

Jackson’s foundation is called Fight for Life. The former NFL cornerback started the foundation more than 10 years ago as a way to give back.

The foundation focuses on serving the under served youth by helping to provide the social and emotional tools that are needed for success. He says he started it after the troubles he faced at an early age.

“I remember being at that age – with my mom not coming home, not having clean clothes and not having the idea of what was going on inside of me,” Jackson added.

Jackson’s latest component of his foundation is called Building Dreams.

“It’s about self-discovery and relationships,” Jackson added.

The program works like this: Students can “check in” every morning on how they are feeling. The student’s response gives teachers an opportunity to teach them about their emotions and how to handle them. Right now, the program is in at least 11 schools and centers around Indianapolis.

While Jackson hopes to expand, Tuesday he gave WRTV an inside look at how the program is helping students at Sankofa School of Successat Arlington Woods School 99.

“It encourages people to do the right thing, it helps with social and emotional learning ,” Ja’Vion Morton said.

Morton is a 5th grader at the school and says he has learned a lot from Building Dreams.

“They brought in therapy that has been working with him for years and it helps him and he stays in control,” Ja’Vion’s mom Keisha Ross said.

Ross told WRTV that she adopted Ja’Vion and his sister at a young age to help give them a better life. She knows first-hand how the program has helped her children.

“You used to see them shut down, but now they are more open and vocal about what they do,” Ross added.

For Jackson, he says it’s his mission to give back.

“I went through everything for a reason and the reason is to help somebody else,” Jackson concluded.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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