Sometimes he’d go late to the range, practicing well into the evening. Other times he’d head out early and work on his golf game just after dawn. But whatever the circumstances for Victor Jackson Jr., there was one constant in this regimen. His mother, JoSemie.
“She was always the one sitting in the car, waiting for me to get done,” he said one recent afternoon at Chester Washington GC in South Los Angeles. “She was always there for me. She’s like my backbone.”
Jackson has much to celebrate this Mother’s Day. JoSemie has not only been devoted to her son but influential as well – she made certain that he had a highly developed sense of perspective. “She always had me focus on education first and golf second,” Victor said.
As a result, he’s had the best of both worlds. Taught to play golf by his grandfather when he was 3, Jackson was a three-time captain of the golf team at Rolling Hills Preparatory School. He is also an SCGA Foundation Scholar, and active in many of its programs, and will head off to Morehouse College in Atlanta after he graduates from high school next month.
Jackson began playing in competitive tournaments at age 10, and said his development benefited considerably from Youth on Course. He later served as a volunteer instructor at The First Tee of South Los Angeles.
JoSemie, an early education administrator with the Los Angeles Unified School District, squirms a bit when the focus comes around to her. She feels that her efforts on behalf of her son are something that should come naturally to any parent. “I didn’t mind waiting, being the team mom, being a chaperone on trips or helping out,” she said. “There are a lot of people who do that – far more than we know. I want everyone to know that I represent a lot of moms and other positive people who come out and support their kids’ aspirations.”
She also felt that it was important she not shoulder this task alone. Victor, JoSemie said, has had a strong support system throughout his 18 years – grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends and fellow worshippers at the Church of Christ in Los Angeles. This helped her establish for her son a solid foundation, of faith in God first and foremost – “I wanted him to have a spiritual base” – and an appreciation for the importance of education.
The messages took firm hold. “She always said it was best to be a student-athlete,” Victor said of his mother. “She’s just been very supportive.”