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Early Life- Against all Odds

KJ25Growing up in Macon, GA, Kareem was taught the value of hard work and respect.  Throughout his life, many people have molded and shaped him into the man he is today.  Jackson benefitted from the influence of strong role models in his life, such as his mother and father, who encouraged him to pursue his many talents. In 1992, Kareem’s life would be changed forever, as he learned that his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In 1995, his younger sister would be diagnosed with leukemia.  His mother and his sister battled cancer and beat it.  Kareem found solace and a positive emotional outlet in sports, particularly football. Kareem developed a passion for the game and continued to excel in his position.  Jackson played for Westside High School and Fork Union Military Academy as a prep and was ranked No. 15 nationally by Rivals.com. He also played in The Max Emfinger Third Annual High School All-American Bowl Classic in Shreveport, La. in which he had five interceptions.  At Fork Union Military Academy, Jackson converted from running back to cornerback.  As a senior at Westside High School, he mainly played running back and rushed for over 1000 yards. He also added 16 tackles with three interceptions on defense. Jackson enrolled at UA in January 2007 and participated in fall drills.  Jackson caught the attention of several college football programs and decisively chose the elite University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide program.

Roll  Tide

After receiving a scholarship to join the prestigious Crimson Tide program, under the tutelage of Coach Nick Saban, Jackson made a lasting impression on coaches. As a true freshman, Kareem started in 12 of 13 games. He ranked second on the team with three interceptions on the season and was fourth with four pass breakups. Jackson recorded 66 tackles on the season, good for fifth-best on the team. He subsequently received Freshman All-American honors. For the next two years Jackson continued to thrive and improve his game at Alabama.  As a sophomore, in 2008, Jackson was eighth on the team in tackles with 44, including 28 solo stops, as a sophomore in 2008. He registered 10 pass breakups on the year with one interception.  By his junior year, in 2009, Jackson started in all 14 games and was fifth on the team with 49 tackles. He also had one interception and broke up 13 passes.   Saban’s Crimson Tide ended the season with a 37–21 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the National Championship to finish a perfect 14–0. The win secured Alabama’s 13th national championship, and its first in BCS era. After much thought and consideration, Kareem decided to enter the NFL Draft after his junior year.

Go Texans

Every young football player dreams of one day playing in the National Football League.  Jackson’s dream came true when he was drafted by the Houston Texans 20th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. The work ethic and awards all gave a lot of attention to the aggressive but humble Kareem Jackson.

In the Community

As an emerging young leader in the community, Kareem has commits his time off the field to serve as the catalyst to motivate and empower youth and families affected for cancer.  He is well known for his outreach and support of cancer-related causes.  His personal connection with breast cancer and leukemia allow him to connect with families and young patients, as Kareem has never forgotten his family’s experience.  Jackson is actively involved with several non-profit organizations in the city. Kareem volunteers his time between Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Alliance, hospital visits at Texas Children’s Hospital, as well as the Sister’s Network, Inc. In partnership with his Texans teammate, Johnathan Joseph, Jackson currently hosts a fundraiser, Tailgating for a Cure, in Houston in support of breast cancer awareness, research and support for the Sister’s Network.  After the 2012 season, Kareem established the Kareem Jackson Foundation to better serve those in need, in the Greater Houston area as well as Macon, GA (his hometown). The foundation’s mission is to create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational and healthy living initiatives for families with children affected by cancer.

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