Hidden Legend of Houston: Karl Jackson

Karl Jackson is a strong leader and mentor for community youth. Aside from that, he created an internship program geared towards supporting students’ career goals in Software Development, Marketing, and other careers. Through his own company, Black Beard Brigade by Yulaw Naturals, he works with non-profit organizations in the community and participates in speaking engagements, mentoring youth, and hosting community events. Also, he works with Freedom Readers to help promote literacy, C-STEM engineering interns and consults with Project Lead the Way to help create a more relevant school curriculum and assessment tests for K-12 students taking courses geared towards STEM.

How are you impacting your community?

Two goals drive me. One, to promote healthier lifestyles by providing quality products and implementing solutions to strengthen the foundation of each client as well as the community. This is achieved by providing natural products that help resolve issues with dry skin, damaged hair, and itchiness. The skin is the foundation that helps your hair flourish. Educating clients on why we use the ingredients that we use and their options are key. We also provide health tips every Thursday. These tips cover mental health, nutrition, financial information, and whatever else the community needs. All of these tips cover fundamental knowledge that helps the growth of everyone. Two, by stimulating Black communities fostering social and economic empowerment home and abroad; communities guided by principle, culture, common interest, and joint ownership while creating a strong foundation for growth and opportunity. For this to happen, I work with an after school and summer literacy program that was designed and implemented to support families in low-income areas as they assisted their children in achieving their academic goals in reading. Another program helps us inspire the next generation of innovators and thought leaders by engaging them in exciting hands-on projects. Students are solving real-world problems that encourage entry into the talent pipeline, bolster self-confidence, and foster a well-rounded mastery of the areas of communication, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow your path in the industry?

Have empathy and be your authentic self. You have to be able to understand your audience and try to relate to their needs, issues, or just story in general. Stay aligned to your vision and the mission you put forward. If you don't, then it won't take long for people to call you out or no longer associate with you. Everyone wants to be a leader or influencer these days, but to be a great leader you have to be a leader of leaders. This means capturing the attention of those with strong opinions and convincing them to see your point of view. Leading from the back and demanding orders are followed won't achieve anything.

What separates you from your competitors?

Focusing more on the client and community separates us. I can relate to them on so many levels. Experiencing bad customer service, products that don't provide results, and lack of financial education are just a few ways. I work to provide resources for everyone while also working to provide solutions to problems and not just throw money out to say a contribution was made.

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