We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Bay Jackson and Jordyn Belle Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor and Jordyn, how do you think about risk?
When my sister Jordyn and I were 10 and 5 years old, we started our charity Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement to help children living in difficult circumstances. I was reserved and conscious of how others viewed me. This mindset kept me from stepping outside of my comfort zone. However, being a founder of a charity at a young age forced me to take risks. I had to learn that being uncomfortable is the key to success. We had to converse with CEOs of companies who were looking to partner or donate to us, make friends with children from other countries (who spoke different languages), speak in front of crowds of people we didn’t know, and get more creative with the ways that we raise money and the types of donations we make. Being young girls, we didn’t expect to find ourselves in the unique role of inspiring and comforting kids living in foster homes. What may seem as easy tasks to some, these were big risks and responsibilities for an introverted girl and very young sister who couldn’t help carry some of the weight being only 5 years old. When I was younger, all of these “uncomfortable” scenarios scared me, but now I have learned that the combination of taking all these risks from years ago are the reasons Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement has been so successful and has impacted so many lives for the last 6 ½ years and even more years to come, as our work for others is far from done. For more information, you can find us at SoaringSamaritansYouthMovement.org
What should our readers know about your business?
A lot have factors have contributed to my sister and I’s success in serving others. We have learned so much from our partners, mentors, other business owners, and everyone we serve. Starting a charity at 10 and 5 years old, we had to learn ways to speak clearly and effectively in order for adults to take us seriously and truly believe in our mission. An important lesson that we should never be afraid to ask for something we want because the most people can say is “no.” As I mentioned before, I was more reserved as a little girl, so I struggled to speak up and ask for donations or support from large companies. When we struggle to put ourselves out there, we always remind each other the most anyone can say is “no.” This philosophy has guided my sister and I tremendously and helped us grow as people and allowed us to expand as a charitable organization. We were able to collect donations and items for the children we visit that we would have never gotten without asking. We have more to lose by not asking than we do by asking and getting told no. It’s not always smooth sailing but as long as we stay united as a team, we have learned that we can conquer any storm we are faced with and use it to grow. My sister and I are most excited to continue providing aid to children and families in need as we grow older. I am going to keep Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement running through my years in college and find ways to integrate it into my college campus and get my peers involved. We look forward to staying committed to inspiring children to build a community of positivity around them, continue to educate on what it means to be an entrepreneur, and provide them with the tools necessary to build a business using resources at the tips of their fingers.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Over quarantine during COVID-19, my family and I have been enjoying finding hidden gems in LA as well as exploring tourist locations that we have never taken the time to experience. While it may sound cliché, the hike to the Hollywood Sign is one of our favorite hikes, and that is the first place we would take our best friend if they were visiting from another state. Then after the hike, we would take her to a rooftop restaurant in Hollywood overlooking all of Los Angeles. LA is truly a melting pot and there are so many cultures and endless tourist locations to explore. We would take our friend to enjoy our favorite authentic, cultural foods like Indian, Mexican, Chinese, and American. Next, we would take them on a drive down PCH in Malibu to get away from the fast-paced city life. Afterwards, my sister and I would take them to visit the StubHub soccer stadium, home to LA’s men’s professional soccer team, LA Galaxy. On the way there, I would share how Jordyn and I spend our long car rides…beading!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Jordyn and I wanted to give a shoutout to our parents for supporting our dreams to take a leap of faith that were capable of helping thousands of kids around the world. We are so grateful they believed we had what it took to elevate others. We also want to thank all of our donors and supporters who have contributed to Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement. We would like to give recognition to our partners, One World Play Project and Unequal Technologies. These supporters empowered us to make waves in our community as young female philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. They gave us a voice when we felt too young to make a difference, and my sister and I want to recognize them. Whether donors have given to us through donating items, buying SOAR Jewels or pure kindness and support, we could not be more thankful. Without our donors and supportive community, Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement would not have touched as many lives as we have been able to accomplish thus far. We’ve provided aid and outlets to thousands of kids and donated over 3,000 soccer balls year to date. Our supporters give to us through their support of SOAR Jewels, social media, attending our events, and donations. They provide the resources to unite and pay it forward. We promise to continue researching our causes to make our parents and supporters proud.
Denise G. Jackson LUTCF