Jacqueline Gibson was born and raised in New Orleans, and the Tremé/Lafitte area has been a special place to her all her adult life. “When I got married, that’s when we moved on over to Governor Nicholls,” recalled Jackie. In telling her story, it was evident that much of the way she gives back to the community was influenced early on through her volunteer activities.
When her children were young they attended TCA Headstart where Jackie volunteered in the classroom. One day a teacher at the school asked her if she had ever considered being a teacher. The question lit a spark within her to teach and nurture the youth of the community. She completed her coursework at Delgado and for the next 25 years, she was instrumental in shaping and influencing young lives in the community through teaching at the preschool in St. Peter Clever Church.
Like many families in our community, Hurricane Katrina took Jackie away from her city and her neighborhood –first to Atlanta and then to the West Bank. While she appreciated being back and close to family, she just didn’t feel like the West Bank was “home.” When her family heard there was an opening at St. Ann Apartments on Ursulines, she was more than eager to return close to her neighborhood. Then, when Bell Artspace Campus first opened and Jackie had the opportunity to transfer to the new property, she was hesitant to uproot again, even if it was just across the street. Today, she loves her new home and has quickly become a stand-out resident of the new community.
Being an active part of the community is something that has always been important to Jackie.
Jackie thinks the most important element of leadership is teamwork.
“Everyone has a role on the board,” she explains, “Everyone has something to give.”