This Q&A is part of the story series Voices of Drake that highlights the diversity, ambition, and passion of the incredible people who make up our campus community. In recognition and celebration of Black History Month, we will be sharing a collection of interviews to spotlight Black voices in our community. This week’s story introduces senior Jalani Jackson, who is studying Information Systems, Data Analytics, and Management.

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Jalani Jackson. I am from Chicago, Illinois. I am a senior studying Information Systems, Data Analytics, and Management. I am the secretary of the Coalition of Black Students. Outside of school, I like hanging around my friends and making TikTok’s.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
What Black History Month means is the appreciation and acknowledgment of Blackness and how it spreads through all aspects of society.

Why did you choose to attend Drake?
I chose Drake because of the size. The small and intimate environment has given me more knowledge and personal time with my professors.

What is your favorite thing about Drake?
My favorite thing about Drake is the Drake Relays!

In what ways have you grown since coming to Drake?
I’ve grown in knowledge and confidence since coming to Drake.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?
I plan to work for a tech company somewhere in Chicago after graduation. I am excited to learn how to work with real-life programs and different systems.

Who has been some of your important mentors during your time at Drake?
My most influential mentor at Drake is Professor Amy Vaughn. She provided me with all the information I needed to succeed while also ensuring she was there for me emotionally. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor.

Are you involved in any student organizations, groups, or community service work? Tell us about those experiences.
I serve as secretary of the Coalition of Black Students.

What do you hope is accomplished during this month of celebration and recognition?
I make sure Black students feel safe and secure here on campus and serve as a resource for them.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life, and what lessons did that person teach you?
My mom is the biggest influence in my life; she has taught me good morals and a great work ethic.

How do you like to spend your free time? Tell us about your hobbies and interests.
I like spending time with my friends and watching TikTok.

What advice would you give to a student coming to Drake?
Be open to new opportunities.