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February 20, 2019


Source: uwci.org | Re-Post Fight for Life Foundation 2/20/2019 –

If you ask Marlin Jackson what’s important to him, his response sounds a lot like former Indianapolis football coach Tony Dungy’s mantra: faith, family, and football – in that order. It’s pretty easy to adopt such a powerful mindset, especially when your leaders and mentors included legends like Dungy and the University of Michigan’s Lloyd Carr.

When we sat down with Marlin at the Tocqueville Society First Wednesday Breakfast of the year, he told us about a time when life wasn’t so easy, from living in poverty to developing a growth mindset. He also informed us of how the work he’s involved in today mirrors a lot of the work United Way of Central Indiana continues to fight for, especially with respect to basic needs and education.

We wanted to learn more about Marlin and how his path has become a platform for both youth and their parents to achieve social and emotional mobility, right here in our great city.

Where did you grow up? What did your childhood home look like?

I grew up in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio in a three-bedroom home with five people. At times, there was no furniture. I never had a bed, so I found myself sleeping wherever we had space, whether that was on the floor or on a couch. The refrigerator and our cabinets weren’t always full of food, either. We lived day-to-day.

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