Personality: Richard Allen Jackson Sr.

Spotlight on VHEF’s honorary co-chair for 12th Annual Jazz Inside Out

6/15/2023, 6 p.m.
Richard Allen Jackson Sr., M.D. describes himself as compassionate, caring and supportive. The decision to be the honorary chair for ...

Richard Allen Jackson Sr., M.D. describes himself as compassionate, caring and supportive. The decision to be the honorary chair for the 12th Annual Jazz Inside Out, along with his wife, Eucharia “Ukay” Jackson, fits right in with those ideals.

The annual gala raises funds to benefit the Virginia Higher Education Fund (VHEF) whose mission is to help high school students who have experienced poverty or homelessness pursue higher education opportunities. This year’s gala is 8 p.m. on July 1 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.

During a recent telephone interview, Dr. Jackson said his parents who taught him the importance of higher education. Education, he said, is vital in giving individuals the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the world.

“If you have aspirations or dreams, many times education is a must,” he added. “If you don’t have the opportunity to obtain that higher education, the world loses the potential you had to offer.”

It is one of the reasons he has supported the nonprofit since it was founded in 2010 by Rose Giles following her 25-year career as a speech language pathologist with Richmond Public Schools.

Dr. Jackson’s love of jazz, especially contemporary jazz, also contributes to his excitement for the Jazz Inside Out gala.

“It’s a great idea to have some fun and support higher education,” he said of the organization’s signature fundraiser, which this year will feature Grammy-nominated pianist William “Chan” Hall and the Chan Hall Trio and, J. Tucker and The Krewe.

Proceeds from the event will provide scholarships, emergency aid, college prep workshops, mentoring, dorm kits containing items such as bedding, towels, luggage and gas gift cards to recipients in Richmond and surrounding counties.

Want to go?

Upcoming event: “Jazz Inside Out”, VHEF’s annual signature fundraising event on Saturday, July 1.

Featured artists: Grammy-nominated pianist Chan Hall and the Chan Hall Trio, along with J. Tucker and The Krewe. Dance instructor Kemel Patton also will provide interactive line dancing.

Location: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Cost: $75

Visit: https://vahighere...

This year, 18 to 20 students will receive scholarships to two-and four-year colleges, and some two dozen first-generation college students will receive dorm kits and gift cards.

Dr. Jackson’s care, compassion and support are evident in his goal for this year’s event — “raise money to get more kids into college.”

Those same traits played a part in his decision to follow in the medical footsteps of his father, Dr. Reginald Jackson, and grandfather, Dr. Isaiah Allen Jackson.

He found them as well in another inspiration in his life - Scout Master Linwood Ross. Dr. Jackson was about 10 years old when he became a Boy Scout and found a love of nature camping under the stars.

“The friendship and camaraderie ... all this was so magical to me,” he said. “After I turned 18, I continued to be an assistant scout master for the next 30 years.”

They are even evident in his love of gardening. Dr. Jackson said he always had a green thumb as a boy. Now he grows annuals, perennials and small crops such as tomatoes and peppers around his Richmond home.

“It’s peaceful to work with the earth and watch Mother Nature transform a seed into a plant,” he said.

He plans to continue working to help the underserved - through the clinical research he does with his son, Dr. Richard Allen “AJ” Jackson, Jr., at the Dominion Medical Associates practice, and through his continued support of VHEF.

Meet a supporter of higher education and the arts and this week’s Personality, Dr. Richard Allen Jackson Sr., M.D.:

Volunteer position: Honorary chair, 12th Annual Jazz Inside Out, benefitting the Virginia Higher Education Fund.

Occupation: Physician, Dominion Medical Associates.

Date and place of birth: Osaka, Japan.

Where I live now: Richmond.

Education: John Marshall High School and Howard University.

Family: Wife, Eucharia “Ukay,” children, Richard Jr. (AJ), Rainey, Mia, Tori, Maya.

The Virginia Higher Education Fund is: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides scholarships and educational services such as college prep workshops, mentoring, and dorm kits for households in Richmond and surrounding counties.

When, where and why founded: VHEF was founded in 2010 in Henrico County.

Founder: Rose Giles.

How long I’ve been involved with Virginia Higher Education Fund: Since 2010.

Why this organization is meaningful to me: It is a fundraiser that supports youth education. Education is vital because it equips individuals with knowledge and skills to navigate the world effectively. Virginia Higher Ed Fund fosters a sense of curiosity, broadens horizons, and encourages lifelong learning.

Why I accepted position as honorary chair: Fundraising efforts can help provide financial support for higher education, which plays a crucial role in shaping the future of our youths and society.

Number one goal as honorary chair: Raise money to get more kids into college.

Why this is a hot ticket to grab: The VMFA is the ultimate “Jazz Inside Out” venue with its cascading waterfalls and beautiful gardens. Guests can groove to live entertainment in the Atrium and on the Terrace. The ticket also includes interactive line dancing and hors d’oeuvres.

How event will benefit scholarship recipients: VHEF is a 100% volunteer charity; therefore, all proceeds will provide financial assistance, college prep workshops, dorm kits and gift cards for scholarship recipients in Richmond and surrounding counties.

Anticipated number of students to receive help: This year 18 to 20 students will receive scholarships to two- and four-year colleges. Additionally, 20 to 30 first-generation college students will receive dorm kits and gift cards.

Virginia Higher Education Fund partners with: Many local and national companies such as NBC12, Dominion Medical Associates, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Spider Management, Mercedes Benz, Virginia Lottery, Virginia Oral & Facial Surgery, FamilyLife Services, Accent Interiors and many individuals who support “Jazz Inside Out” annually.

How I start the day: Meditation and exercise.

The three words that best describe me: Compassionate, caring, and supportive.

If I had 10 extra minutes in the day: More time to analyze the events of the day.

Best late-night snack: Left- overs from my wife’s delicious dinners.

The music I listen to most is: Jazz.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Gardening.

A quote that I am most inspired by: “Find yourself in others, give your life for others, let person No.1 give himself, and person No. 2 give himself for the relationship that exists between person No. 1 and person No. 2.”

At the top of my “to-do” list: Travel more and work less.

The best thing my parents ever taught me: The importance of higher education.

The person who influenced me the most: Besides my parents, my scout master – Linwood Ross.

Book that influenced me the most and how: “Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine.”

Next goal: Develop clinical research organization to help the underserved.