Ayla Adkins/The Broadside
On August 29, 2020, a Central Oregon pilot was killed in a freak accident at the Prineville Airport while he was flying. His name was Jackson Edwards, he was 27 years old. The family and friends of Edwards, still heartbroken, described him as jovial, bright, patient and exceptionally intelligent.
Edwards was one of a kind and those in his life did not want his memory to die with them. His mother, Jennifer Edwards, had an idea to have his legacy live on through the Jackson Edwards Technology Foundation.
When asked about her relation to the foundation, Jennifer Edwards said,
“I guess you could say I’m the foundation’s mom. A couple of days after Jackson died, a group of us were sitting around a fire outside and Jackson’s boss said that he would never be able to replace him because Jackson could make or do anything. I felt so strongly that a perfect legacy would be finding kids like Jackson and giving them the opportunity to succeed in spite of school.”
Edwards, even with a brilliant mind, was never a fan of traditional schooling and instead of going to college and getting a degree, he followed his dreams. Jennifer Edwards mentioned that she wanted the foundation to be for the ‘do-ers’ in society since she feels they are undervalued.
The foundation’s hope is to, “create opportunities for other gifted kids like Jackson who are overlooked and under-served by the traditional education system. We want to inspire kids by showing them how to create things with their own brains and their own hands…As a pioneer of the EV industry, Jackson’s mechanical skills and problem-solving abilities were crucial to propelling the new technology forward and I want the Foundation to lead to more understanding of the importance of ‘can-do’ people.”
She said that the goal for the foundation is, “not only to expose young people to shop work – teaching them how to use tools, problem solve, repair and innovate, but also to encourage young people to be confident in and proud of, their mechanical skills.”
Currently the foundation is funded 100% on donations, but Jennifer Edwards hopes to achieve grants later down the road. The goal is to raise $200,000 and the foundation has received $18,165 since it was started on September 7, 2020.
Jackson Edwards will be missed from the community but his memory will live on through the foundation and will help Central Oregon students learn, thrive, achieve, and challenge new wonders.
Any questions, condolences, or concerns about the foundation can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The fundraising for the foundation can be found at: https://gf.me/u/yw9ym4