CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati chapter of Jack and Jill, an organization encouraging Black and brown students to pursue excellence, staged their annual get together at the University of Cincinnati.

What You Need To Know

  • The Cincinnati chapter of the Jack and Jill organization staged a "Super Saturday" event for high school students at the University of Cincinnati

  • Speakers talked about pursuing excellence and strategies for success

  • There are 262 Jack and Jill chapters across the country with about 50,000 families participating.

​The event, dubbed Super Saturday, was a program of speeches, panels, games and lunch for about 100 middle school and high school students.  Organizers said they’re grateful the program is back in person.

“This event was once online and that didn’t represent the theme of unity that we’re trying to have this year,” said Reagan Heard, a senior at Summit Country Day School and an organizer of the event.   “Having everybody back in person together, you can just see the emotions on their faces. They’re finding a community within themselves.” 

“I know through COVID you were blocked out,” said Jorja Wilkerson, the event’s co-chair and a junior at Walnut Hills High School.  “So this event is helping with forming new friendships, networking, getting to know different people you would have never known.”

Both students and their families are grateful to be a part of the Jack and Jill Organization.  The Cincinnati chapter is one of 262 across the country, with about 50,000 families participating.

“Jack and Jill’s about excellence,” Wilkerson said.  “Everyone I’ve gotten to know radiates a sense of excellence that I’ve never seen before.”

Their hosts at the University of Cincinnati agree.

“Jack and Jill representatives are so impressive, the students, the parents,” said Laurie Wilson, the associate director of Student Affairs at the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.  She’s a big supporter of the Super Saturday event.

“The future of our colleges and universities are in the middle school students and high school students who are there right now,” Wilson said.

“I call it the Goldilocks effect. They can come to campus. They get to see if it feels right for them. And it’s so important that they know what those next steps are going to look like.”

Participants also heard from members of Black fraternities and sororities at UC, who shared their thoughts about Greek life and balancing service and fun with schoolwork.

“UC has been an immense help by letting us use their facilities and letting us have so many opportunities to show the students what college life can be and to just show them different avenues they can take their careers in,” said Heard.

“Jack and Jill is a one of a kind organization and I’m so blessed and honored to be a part of it,” Jorja said. “For anyone that’s looking for a community that will accept them, Jack and Jill’s the place.”