Founder & Executive Director

Nine Nickels, Inc. is led and operated by its founder and Executive Director, Jackson Collins. Jackson graduated from Amherst College and earned a Master’s in Education Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College Columbia University and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from University of Pennsylvania’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program. Jackson serves on the Board of Managers for the Oakwood Friends School. 

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.