Teaching at Crossroads has been a dream come true for Kevin “KK” Jackson. It’s where he went to School until graduation in 1982. It’s where he experienced some of his best memories and most rewarding challenges. And it’s where the importance of community service was ingrained in him.
“It changed my life for the better,” he says of the School he’s called home for the last quarter-century. “Just being able to do what I do every day and call it work blows my mind.”
KK was always inspired by his grandparents, who found time to help others even as they raised him and his siblings in the Oakwood area of Venice. But getting back in touch with Crossroads co-founder Paul Cummins—“the most giving person I have ever met,” KK says—after high school fueled him to give back to his community.
He started working at Crossroads as a P.E. teacher in the early ’90s, began coaching basketball at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica and got into regular volunteer work with the local Police Activities League.
Those activities provided a foundation for KK and his wife Regina to launch their nonprofit, Runners Basketball Camp, in 1994. Their aim was to help at-risk youths experience quality programming, such as camps and summer sports tournaments, at no cost to their families.
What started with weeklong basketball camps has branched out to include other sports activities as well as academic tutoring, mentorship opportunities, lunch programs, charity events and other initiatives. KK hopes his nonprofit, which still organizes youth basketball programming today, steers kids towards choices that will help them later in life.
Several of KK’s service programs have involved the help of longtime Crossroads employee Daryl Roper, who has been a guest speaker at KK’s camp and a collaborator at numerous camps and service outlets.
KK recognizes that his work in the community serves as an example for his students, children and grandchildren so they learn how to give to others while expecting nothing in return.
“Our goal has been to help and mentor as many young people in need as we can,” he says. “The greatest joy of running my nonprofit is looking into the faces of all the children we provide services to.”