Danielle Hughes honors late grandfather through scholarship fund

David Jackson Jr. did not have higher education, but he valued it. Born July 26, 1921 in southern Georgia, Jackson attended nearby Moultrie High School, but was drafted into World War II during his junior year. After serving from 1942-1946, Jackson moved north to Detroit during the great migration, where he started a family and a taxi business called Jackson Taxi Fleet.

Jackson stressed the importance of education to his family, even paying for each of his five children to attend college. They were the unofficial “Jackson 5.” Taking his own advice, Jackson attended classes at Cass Tech High School to obtain his G.E.D. in the 1970s. He joined the ancestors in 2010, but inspired so many people around him, including his granddaughter, Danielle Hughes. Her new book, Always Make Your Bed, released June 19 and with proceeds from each book, decided to create a scholarship fund called the “David Jackson Scholarship for Emerging Leaders” in honor of her late grandfather.

“Knowing your history and being educated was extremely important to him because he didn’t have access to it,” Hughes said of her grandfather, who sparked her interest in reading in the second grade.

David Jackson Jr. owned a taxi company in the Detroit area called Jackson Taxi Fleet. PHOTO: Danielle Hughes

Jackson not only cared about the education and well-being of his own children and grandchildren, but others as well. He and his wife, Ella, were charter members of New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Highland Park. The church had a scholarship fund for the children of the church and the Jacksons were the biggest funders of it.

Before her grandfather died, Hughes visited him at his nursing home, held his hand, and promised him she would finish college. She graduated from Georgia State in 2014 with a degree in journalism and is following in her grandfather’s footsteps by assuring others have the same educational opportunities.

“My grandfather was my hero, and this is something that he would have wanted done,” said Hughes. “When I think of what I want to be in life, an advocate in my community, it’s just like my grandfather. He instilled education and knowing your history into his children and grandchildren and I’m honored to be able to carry on his legacy. I feel he passed the torch to me.”

Danielle Hughes.

Hughes is currently a full-time Dream Director at Renaissance High School, where three students will receive the first round of David Jackson Scholarship for Emerging Leaders. She plans to announce the recipients at her book launch event in July. Moving forward, the scholarship will be open to all Detroit Public School Community District students.

Long before Hughes became a Forbes 30 Under 30 list maker in 2017, award-winning social entrepreneur, world traveler, and mentor, she nearly flunked out of school and had no direction in life. For years, she would take that “below average” mentality and let it spill into other areas of her life until she became fed up with her own poor choices. Wanting to make a change for the better, Hughes began making her bed. Always Make Your Bed explores the science behind having a routine and consistently doing the same things. It is a practical resource for individuals ready to make a change, move forward, and maximize their impact throughout the marathon of life.

“All of the successful people in my life had a routine and I never had one,” said Hughes. “Every day, I would make my bed and pray, and when I became more consistent in that, I started getting more things done in the day. I literally saw my change from there and I wanted to change the lives of others.”

Always Make Your Bed is available on amybbook.com.

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