The Truth About Treaux

Senior Treaux Jackson shares his passion for East Asian culture

Jackson+explores+the+magnificent+scenery+atop+the+Great+Wall+of+China+with+EF+tours.+It+was+something+that+will+%22stick+with+him+forever.%22
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The Truth About Treaux

Jackson explores the magnificent scenery atop the Great Wall of China with EF tours. It was something that will

Jackson explores the magnificent scenery atop the Great Wall of China with EF tours. It was something that will "stick with him forever."

courtesy of Treaux Jackson

Jackson explores the magnificent scenery atop the Great Wall of China with EF tours. It was something that will "stick with him forever."

courtesy of Treaux Jackson

courtesy of Treaux Jackson

Jackson explores the magnificent scenery atop the Great Wall of China with EF tours. It was something that will "stick with him forever."

Lanie Render, Reporter

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“I decided to go by my middle name because I love its uniqueness in both pronunciation and spelling,” senior Treaux Jackson said.

Jackson–his first named pronounced as “true”–embodies the traits of sincerity and intellectual curiosity. Jackson has fully immersed himself in the language and culture of East Asia. Whether it be starting a club at school, taking a college level course or traveling to China, Jackson expresses his passion for the region in more ways than one.

The truth is, Jackson is the definition of involved. Because of his unique appreciation of the world’s multiplicity, Jackson is a part of clubs that promote diversity throughout BV West. As a member of BV West’s Diversity Leadership council, Jackson dedicates a large portion of his time ensuring that the school promotes acceptance.

“I joined Diversity Leadership Council last year to get a feel for what it was all about and to branch out in my extracurricular activities,” Jackson said. “I have served as a member in the council and I presented at the DLC-led school assembly in January on the importance of studying secondary languages, specifically Chinese.”

In addition to the DLC, Jackson started a chapter for a Chinese culture club in an effort to expand student world-views, specifically that of Asian cultures.

“Last year is when it [Chinese club] really got going,” Jackson said. “We work to promote Chinese culture in Blue Valley West.”

Additionally, Jackson is currently enrolled in a course over East Asian Studies and the Japanese language through Stanford University. The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education or SPICE allows for Jackson to engage in a rigorous course that challenges his strengths.

Jackson’s passion for the Chinese culture has filled the time in his life. It all began as he sat in his sixth grade social studies class with Pleasant Ridge teacher Marc Modelski.

“[The] first time I fell in love with it was sixth grade social studies class with Mr. Modelski,” Jackson said. “He made it seem like China was this country that invented everything. I thought how cool it would be to learn about a different culture.”

It just seemed natural to Jackson to share his love of China with his peers, yet his dedication extends beyond enlightening the school. He makes a valiant effort to support local associations that promote cultural mindfulness. Jackson works with the local groups include: Kansas City Chinese Association, Society for Friendship with China and Heart of Japan. His goal in spending time with these groups is to increase diversity.

“Treaux is an amazing student that seeks out ways to improve himself and those around him,” Gifted Teacher Danna Ahnemann said. “He is genuinely concerned with the welfare of others and works to consistently try to improve things and situations.”

Jackson’s passion took him beyond attending meetings and visiting with his peers when he created a non-profit called Fortune Cookie Kid. He co-founded the 501c3 with his parents, who inherited their interest from their son, to educate the community on a different culture.

“Through my studies, my parents and my sister have picked up on my passion for East Asian culture,” Jackson said.

With the help of his family, the nonprofit has become a major organization promoting cultural awareness. Jackson’s organization has been represented at the Multicultural Festival, the local Dragon Festival, and even the Kansas City Chinese Association’s own New Year’s Gala. Students interested in involvement with Fortune Cookie Kid are able to volunteer at these events.

“We raise awareness for East Asian cultures throughout the area,” Jackson said. “We are also working to get a fundraiser event set up for this school year to raise funds for Fortune Cookie Kid’s partial-scholarships for students who are deeply longing to study an East Asian language in its country of origin.

To give back to an organization that give so much to the community, students have the opportunity to donate or volunteer with Fortune Cookie Kid by visiting fortunecookiekid.com.

“Students can most certainly donate and help with this nonprofit,”Jackson said. “[We] would be more than happy to involve other interested students in community service activities for our organization and partnering organizations.”

Jackson was able to exercise his love for East Asian culture by traveling to Beijing, China and Tokyo, Japan in past summers with the Education First Tours organization.

“It was an amazing experience to say the least,” Jackson said. “I was ecstatic about meeting people from countries like Switzerland and the Czech Republic to countries like Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.”

While in China, Jackson spent his time inside the classroom. He was in school, discovering the intricacies of the Chinese language.

Once excused from class, the EF tour students were allowed to participate in local activities organized by EF tours. The most memorable of these experiences for Jackson was his trip to Mutianyu, a popular section of the Great Wall. An EF tour guide and Jackson spent the majority of the day traveling and traversing the wall.

“The memories and experiences that I have gained from my time with EF, the Great Wall trip especially, will hold a special place with me for the rest of my life,” Jackson said.

Jackson immersed himself in both the language and culture. He saw the beauty of Asia and enjoyed traditional foods while exploring the country’s charming markets.

Being able to experience the culture allowed for Treaux to recognize that Eastern Asian is where he hopes to be in the future.

Sixth grade social studies sparked Jackson’s interest. That interest led to a passion that he hopes will blossom into a future career. Jackson hopes to continue his studies at Stanford University and major in either Mechanical Engineering or East Asian Studies. He is hopeful for a job that will take him back to the place he loves.

“I would like to be employed in a company based overseas or a company completely overseas,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s love for the Asian culture has opened doors that he could not have imagined in sixth grade social studies. Whether Stanford is in his future or a life overseas, Jackson’s passion will allow him a bright and diverse future.

“Reliable, trustworthy, honest and dependable.” When asked to describe senior Treaux Jackson, Gifted teacher Danna Ahnemann could not choose just one adjective, so she decided to find a versatile sign.

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