Jackson Community Center
Director: Elizabeth C. Campbell
Vision: A revitalized East Orange with vibrant, stable communities, and empowered, equipped residents.
Jackson Community Center (JCC) was founded in 2009 by Elizabeth Campbell, a retired banking professional and native of Orange, Texas. Ms. Campbell's deep concern for the economic plight of the underserved residents in the surrounding areas of her childhood home is what motivated her to return to Orange to rebuild these communities. After sharing her vision with other civic and community leaders, she decided to start an organization that would address the social and economic needs of the community. JCC serves as a catalyst for economic uplift and community change with an initial focus on the youth and plans for future support to other residents. Through mentoring, life skills training, and career development programs, JCC is improving the quality of life and future outlook for underserved residents.
Career Development Program
Designed for youth from lower income families in East Orange between the ages of 14 and 18, this program includes seminars on job readiness, communication, and basic money management.
For community residents between the ages of 16 and 25, this program focuses on topics such as independent living, money management, parenting skills, nutrition and wellness, and effective communication.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Through this program, certified volunteers provide free electronic filing tax assistance to eligible residents in the Golden Triangle area.
Youth Summer Program
The program provides middle school-age youth from East Orange communities with tutoring and homework assistance along with other enrichment activities.
Our year-round garden teaches community youth about the benefits of growing one's own food, healthy eating, and self-sufficiency.
Jackson Community Center is committed to providing supportive social service programs to the lower income communities and residents of East Orange.
Our fundraising efforts to support the construction of a building for JCC are underway. We have purchased several empty lots within our service area as the location of our future building site. With the new building, JCC will be able to expand its outreach services and offer additional programs year-round to the community residents who have not had a community center in the area since 1973.
JCC partners with several organizations to serve underrepresented communities in Orange. JCC has obtained grants through the City of Orange Community Development Block Grant program and the Foundation of Southeast Texas to help fund its programs and activities. Sites for JCC's programs have been generously provided by the City of Orange Housing Authority, I-TEX Corp., and the Neighborhood Development Corporation. JCC also offers free tax preparation services to Orange residents through Lamar University's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Currently, JCC administers several programs targeting its youth residents during the school year as well as the summer months. These programs provide an excellent opportunity to help the youth fill their after-school and summer breaks with structured enrichment activities that can assist in preparing them for academic and employment opportunities. JCC believes the career development programs are especially beneficial in addressing the high unemployment levels among youth in the communities JCC serves.
Through these various programs, it is JCC's goal that participants will gain valuable life skills, knowledge, experience, and personal attention through mentor-mentee relationships - all of which build self-confidence and instill valuable character-building traits that help participants grow into responsible, productive citizens.