In 2019, Jackie became the first male Certified Community Health Worker in the Twin Cities-based Karen community. He completed WellShare’s CHW Stewardship Program, a program supported by the Minnesota Department of Health Center for Health Equity Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative grant. Through this program, he was able to get educational and financial support to attend Summit Academy OIC to become a CHW.
Jackie graduated from St. Paul College as an Automotive Service Technician and worked as a Karen-language interpreter. Though he enjoyed his work, he wanted to be able to give back to his community. Jackie recognized WellShare as an organization that “is making a big impact on the community.” WellShare recognized Jackie as a smart, enthusiastic worker and quick learner with a desire to improve community health.
In addition to completing his internship at WellShare, Jackie is working on a project called Science Café where he is organizing and facilitating meetings in the Karen community to discuss health topics and research.