CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Behind every athlete is determination, motivation and inspiration. For North Carolina State University defensive lineman Savion Jackson, his inspiration is his mom, Renada.
“I strive to be great in school and football and get to the next level. Because I drive from her basically, she gives me the energy to do what I do,” said Savion Jackson.
“I think I would explode if I was any more proud of it. And he always makes sure he looks for me in the crowd,” said mom Renada Jackson.
Family is everything for Savion Jackson. The Clayton High School standout decided to go to N.C. State to be close to home.
But under the pads, is a dark past. Renada was a domestic violence victim.
“I was a mom and I was an abused wife. I went through probably every form, from rape, to physical, all of it. He (Savion) realized something wasn’t right at a young age. And with the events that took place, his father ended up not being in his life at all,” she said.
As Renada and her children began to pick up the pieces of their broken home, though he was only a boy, Savion quickly became the man of the house.
“I got my first job in middle school. I had two jobs in high school. I just had to grow up quick and help out with bills now and then whenever my mom needed it,” he said.
Through the darkness, the Jackson family’s bond grew stronger. Now, Renada has started a non-profit to help domestic violence victims.
“For her to go through what she went through and battle, and then grow from it now and then be able to teach other women through what they’re going through,” said Savion.
Her Facebook group, “My Sister’s Keeper United,” is a place for women to support, encourage and empower other women. It also educates those who may need help.
“It’s just wanted to give back, it’s a way of healing for me. The more I give back, the more I heal, and I feel like it’s a two-way thing,” said Renada.
Through family, football and a lot of faith, Renada’s purpose has gone from survive, to thrive –and to assist others hoping to do the same.
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