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Northside Planning Council - NPC
(608)444-6640 director@northsideplanningcouncil.org

Northside Changemaker: Jacki Thomas

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Jacki Thomas started working as a receptionist at the front desk of Packer Community Learning Center when it opened in 1995. When she retired as the coordinator 21 years later, she had made monumental impacts on the lives of thousands of kids. People who didn’t feel like they belonged anywhere found a home at the center.

Part of her success was her belief that the center’s activities should be defined by the interests of the people who used it. If someone wanted to make a video, she started a videographer program; if someone wanted to write music, she set up a recording studio; if a child liked bugs, she set up a science club, and then got other children involved in these programs. That video project turned into six full-length films with original scripts and roles devised for the children involved. She was the facilitator for zines, poetry slams, free-style rap battles and open mics.

Jacki wore a lot of hats at Packer. She oversaw after school tutoring, worked with People Prep and Head Start and ran summer enrichment programs that included everything from philosophy debates and cooking classes to gardening. She was the IT Dept., the PR Dept., the HR Dept.  Jacki helped people who were having a hard time fitting in and getting their voices heard.

Northside Planning Council

The mission of the Northside Planning Council is to improve the quality of life and foster equity on the Northside through community organizing and economic development.

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Northside Economic Development Coalition

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