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‘One person can make a big change’ | 11-year-old girl gives back to community through nonprofit

At just 11 years old, Legacy Jackson has spent years helping thousands of people all over the world. Now, she's inspiring other young people just like her.

ST. LOUIS — Like most kids these days, 11-year-old Legacy Jackson sits in front of a laptop on a Wednesday afternoon. But during this lesson, this little girl is no student. She’s the teacher.

Legacy runs Little Legacies Community Service Organization, a nonprofit in St. Louis. In a Zoom presentation, Legacy is sharing how she does it with kindergarten students at Fairview Elementary School.

“We think really hard and we see what's really needed in the community at the moment,” she explained.

With the help of her mom and grandma, Legacy organizes a service project every month. She’s done this since 2016.

“I keep doing it so that people who aren't as fortunate as me, they get to have the same rights and equality and funness that I’m used to having at least once in their lifetime,” said Legacy.

Feeding the homeless and sending more than 3,000 pairs of shoes overseas to kids in Africa are a couple of her favorite projects she’s facilitated.

But Legacy has served others long before starting her organization.

“Me and my mom and my brother, Brendon, used to do lots of community service,” she said. “Often, I would be the only kid who would be there doing community service.”

Legacy's passion for service shines so bright, not even the darkest moments cast shadows on her vision. In 2017, Brendon passed away from Juvenile Type One Diabetes. He was just 19 years old.

To no one’s surprise, Legacy turned her sorrow into service.

“I wrote a book about how to grieve, not just for me, but how but for other kids if they're going through losing a loved one,” she explained.

While all of her projects are impressive, her zoom lesson with Fairview students might be her most important yet. Through a virtual discussion, dolls, and t-shirts which highlight Black women like Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Oprah, and Gabby Douglas, Legacy teaches girls like her about women like them – and the power of a strong legacy.

“One person can make a big change and you shouldn't let others’ stereotypes or people try to knock you down in the way of what you are really dedicated to.”