One face that just about everyone at St. John’s Home recognizes is that of spiritual life partner Julius D. Jackson. Whether you refer to him as “JD,” “Selfie King of St. John’s,” or simply “Julius”—almost everyone is well acquainted with the positive and encouraging attitude he brings into the work place.
On a day-to-day basis, Julius can be found leading worship services or enjoying one-to-one meetings with residents; all the while ensuring to document a good day with a photo to share on Facebook. Julius also goes beyond assignment, regularly visiting residents and checking in on staff members outside his assigned floors. “It is a beautiful thing when work relationships grow into personal friendships,” says Julius.
Not only is Julius active on social media, he is also an active member of the community stemming from his involvement with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial through his fraternity in 2006. The work he did through Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity encouraged him to, “return home and continue turning the dirt.” Soon after that, he made it his mission to make Frederick Douglass’ story heard throughout Rochester as a local hero.
Julius helped organize a celebration at the gravesite of Fredrick Douglass in Mount Hope Cemetery, played a role in the moving of Douglass’ statue to a more prominent location, and was even recently awarded a key to the city for his role in the name change of the local Rochester airport to the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. It is Julius’ hope to inspire all those around him to follow their passions as he believes that even one person can be the spark that lights a fire of change within a community.
Julius embraces living in his own way by always being sure, “to not take life too seriously and find humor wherever possible, especially in hard times.”
For more on Julius D. Jackson, check out his feature in 55 Plus Magazine.