Founder & Executive Director
Nine Nickels, Inc. is led and operated by its founder and Executive Director, Jackson Collins. Jackson Collins is currently the upper school Dean of Students and Co-Chair of the upper school History department at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA. Prior to his role at Shipley, Jackson worked as an upper school Form dean, and as the Associate Director of Admission for Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, PA working with grades Pre-K through 12th Grade. Jackson currently serves on the board of directors for Leadership Philadelphia and the board of managers for The Oakwood Friends School.
Jackson Collins earned his master’s degree in Education Leadership through the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University's Teachers College, and he holds an undergraduate degree in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought from Amherst College. Before completing his master’s degree, Jackson Collins served five years as Coordinator of Interscholastic Athletics at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. Before becoming an educator, Mr. Collins worked for Citigroup’s investment bank, spending two years in the Leveraged Finance Group structuring high yield bond offerings, and another year in the Global Loan Portfolio Management Group, honing his business acumen.
In June 2009 the Organization’s founder and Erma’s grandson, Jackson A. Collins, recognized a need for a series of resources to connect highly motivated students and families with the improved educational opportunities. In addition, he recognized that independent and charter schools needed assistance in achieving their diversity and enrollment initiatives. Growing up in an underserved neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York and having benefitted greatly from the robust teaching and learning availed by an independent school education, the founder firmly believes that independent and charter schools offer a distinct long-term advantage for under-represented students to achieve socio-economic progress. The founder hopes to remedy this by informing under-represented families about the opportunities they are missing, and then he would like Nine Nickels to equip them with the tools and resources to take advantage of them.
Jackson has keen understanding of the challenges and complexities under-served students and their families face as they endeavor to improve their socio-economic status. He successfully navigated these obstacles and he is uniquely qualified to lead an organization focused on helping children overcome challenges that are no different than those he overcame in his own life.
Jackson grew up in an at-risk section of Brooklyn, New York in a single parent household. In middle school, his mother took advantage of an opportunity to enter Jackson into the Prep for Prep program. Upon completion of the program, he left his mediocre public school and attended Saint Ann’s School, one of the country’s top independent schools. While attending Saint Ann’s School, Jackson experienced two vastly different social spheres; life in his affluent independent school community, and life in his much less than affluent neighborhood. His experience in both realms give him a unique perspective that adds value to Nine Nickels, Inc. and the people the Organization serves.