SF Giants' outfielder Austin Jackson pitches importance of education to students

San Francisco Giants player Austin Jackson stands with students at Lafayette Elementary School
San Francisco Giants player Austin Jackson with students at Lafayette Elementary School. (Photo by Laura Dudnick)

Meeting a role model who pursued their dreams all the way to the Major Leagues can have a profound impact on students. That's why San Francisco Giants' outfielder Austin Jackson, who joined the Giants earlier this year following stints on numerous other Major League teams, took some time out before his game later today to visit San Francisco Unified School District students.

Jackson came to Lafayette Elementary School in the Outer Richmond as part of an event planned by student athletes from Washington High's Athletes In Math Succeed (AIMS) program.

When asked what his favorite subject in school was, Jackson answered without hesitating: "Math!"

San Francisco Giants player Austin Jackson in the Lafayette Elementary School library with students
San Francisco Giants' outfield Austin Jackson answers questions from students in the Lafayette Elementary School library. (Photo by Laura Dudnick)

Washington High's AIMS program, founded in 2006 by teacher Ed Marquez, inspires high school student athletes to undertake advanced math and to serve as mentors for elementary students from Lafayette, and become positive adult leaders in their communities.

The annual end-of-year celebration, usually involving a member of the Giants, is meant to show students that working hard in school is crucial to becoming a professional athlete, or following any other career path they choose.

Students had an opportunity to ask Jackson questions about his career and life, including while growing up whether he questioned his ability to make it to the Major Leagues. Jackson told students about how he struggled after his first year in the minor leagues, before overcoming his challenges to succeed in professional baseball.

There were also sillier questions, like whether Jackson owns any dogs (he has four).

And, of course, there was Giants pride rampant throughout the celebration.

"Can I get a big 'Go Giants' on three?" Jackson asked at the beginning of the assembly.

The students roared back, "One! Two! Three! Go Giants!"