Saint Joseph Academy Senior, Jackson Rodriguez, has earned admissions into the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with an academic scholarship. SCAD is the University for Creative Careers in preparing students for creative professions through engaged teaching and learning in a positively oriented university environment. SCAD offers more than 40 programs to match the creative passions of each student with degrees such as interior design, fashion design and management, multi-media design and management, performing arts, film writing, directing and many more.
As far as Jackson can remember, his family members have always been engaged in the fine arts culture. “I think the best way to describe our family is artistically cultured because we’ve always engaged in the fine arts lifestyle whether it’s dance, the performing arts, or music”, says Jackson. Jackson’s interest in performing arts sparked after participating in several performances at the Camile Playhouse here in Brownsville. At the time, Jackson was unsure of his feelings towards acting and the creative side of the performing arts that he began to question if it was something he wanted to pursue. However, after some motivation and encouragement from Former Artistic Director of Camille Playhouse and Founding Artistic Director of Brownsville Repertory Theatre, Chris Ikner, Jackson decided to give acting and the creative side of performing arts one last chance. That is when he realized and understood that his performing arts director saw what he had not seen in himself, a natural born talent and gift. “I never imagined myself wanting to purse a degree and profession in the performing and fine arts industry. Now, I can’t see myself doing anything other than being in a creative content career field”, says Jackson.
Jackson serves as a member and President of the Performing Arts club at Saint Joseph Academy. Upon his return to SJA in the 12th grade, Jackson came back with the intention and motivation to purse the arts as a career and believed that SJA was the best place to achieve that foundation and career opportunity because of its strong developing performing arts program. “I came back to SJA because I not only loved it here, but I really enjoy learning and watching the SJA productions come together. The preparations, the scripting, the costuming, the lighting, everything. Mr. Ikner and Mr. Stutts have done an amazing job with our Performing Arts program here by allowing us to not only get a taste of theatre, but a professional experience and education while producing great work that I wasn’t going to be able to get anywhere else,” says Jackson. “The performing arts can encourage students to explore their emotions, expand their imagination and help them develop their own, unique voice. Each discipline, music, dance and theatre engage our brains, bodies and emotions in different ways to encourage confidence and find joy in self-expression,” says Chris Ikner, Saint Joseph Academy Performing Arts Director.
Jackson is optimistic about beginning his new chapter at SCAD in the Fall of 2021. He plans to purse the creative arts degree route and learn about TV/Film, scriptwriting, directing in both film and theatre, and performing arts. “I chose to apply at SCAD because I felt that this is where my personality and character would be most embraced and expressed. In addition, the student to professor ratio is like the classroom instruction here at St. Joe”, says Jackson. “I love that here at St. Joe I was able to build unique and ever lasting relationships with my teachers, coaches, and counselors because they genuinely care about my education, my success, and me as a student. With those things in mind during the application process, I knew that SCAD was the place I’d be able to continue to experience that”.