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Tampa teenager N'Jhari Jackson inspires his community by winning prestigious Congressional Award

Award recognizes service in young people
Posted at 6:15 AM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 08:39:06-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- N’Jhari Jackson has a shocking confession.

“I’m not going to lie,” says N’Jhari. “I hit the snooze button twice this morning.”

The 16-year-old senior at Carrollwood Day School should not feel guilty about getting an extra few minutes of sleep. He is a tireless worker and volunteer for his community.

N’Jhari recently won the prestigious Congressional Award Bronze Medal. It is one of the highest honors an American child can receive. Congress established it in 1979 to "recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young people."

A mission to put AED defibrillators in schools and youth sports facilities helped him win Eagle Scout of the Year among other accolades.

As well as playing football and lacrosse for his school, N’Jhari also took lifeguard lessons, learned to play the bugle for veteran events, and donated the proceeds from four books he wrote to Dick Vitale’s pediatric cancer foundation.

“My family says I have a motor that doesn’t stop,” N’Jhari says. 

His mother would love to see him rest more. She is not holding her breath.

“I try to get him to slow down but his version of slowing down isn’t most people’s version of slowing down,” says LaShina Jackson.

N’Jhari is not even close to being done. He becomes eligible to win the Congressional Award Silver Medal on September 12.

And after that?

N’Jhari will go for the Gold Medal.