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Press Release

Tampa Florida,  September 3, 2018

DeSean Jackson, All Pro wide receiver, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his mother, Gayle Jackson, announced today that they have accepted an invitation, from Ire Carolina, Principal, Ernest E. Just Elementary, to partner with the Jacksons and their foundation in an effort to empower and motivate Just Elementary students.

Gayle Jackson states that the timing is perfect.  Last year, we were new to the Tampa Bay NFL franchise market. DeSean’s work schedule, the move and getting acclimated to a new team and City were first and foremost.  This year, we wanted to re-brand and launch the DeSean Jackson Foundation in Tampa; and, it was important to DeSean that we go “off the grid” to develop a partnership with an elementary, middle and high school where he could be very engaged and impact the lives of those we serve.

Just Elementary is good fit because Ernest E. Just was a pioneering African-American biologist, academic & science writer.  Gayle wants to challenge the students to preserve Mr. Just’s legacy; and, hopefully, aspire to a career in research for a cure for Pancreatic Cancer.  She also wants to encourage other NFL Moms, of Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ players, to join her in bringing Read Across America to Just Elementary.

DeSean is looking forward to meeting with the young men and boys in the Just Gents Club and sharing his experiences and “Rites of Passage into Manhood’ as learned from his father, the streets of Crenshaw, the NFL and now as a father himself.

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Contact For the DeSean Jackson Foundation:  Gayle Jackson, President, DeSean Jackson Foundation, E-Mail: deseanjacksonfoundationceo@yahoo.com

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August 29, 2018

To:  Mrs. Gayle Jackson and Mr. DeSean Jackson –  DeSean Jackson Foundation 

The Omega Gent’s mentoring was established here at the Ernest E. Just Elementary in 2010.  Omega Psi Fraternity, along with school personnel, have been mentoring about 35 students a year. This club’s program ideas are based on the vision of Stephen G. Peters, founder of the original gentlemen’s club, “Just Gents”, that was established here at Just Elementary in 2008.   The ideals of the program are to reach and educate All of our children one child at a time. The Just Gents Club provides a vehicle to accomplish this goal.

Our vision at Just Elementary is for students to become life-long learners and have a positive impact on their community. Just Elementary is located in West Tampa across from the North Boulevard Homes where students have been a product of generational poverty. Just is a Title I school with 98% of our students receiving free or reduced lunch. Although the community is undergoing redevelopment and our population has decreased, our student needs have not changed. We strive to provide them with as many opportunities as possible to prepare them academically and socially, but the support of outside organizations is imperative to help us meet our goals. My mantra is the Possibilities are Endless….Just Believe!

Just would love the opportunity to partner with your son, DeSean, and the DeSean Jackson Foundation. Personally, I am a fan of DeSean’s and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would truly be an honor for my students and school to be affiliated with your foundation.

I look forward to working with you in the near future.


Ire Carolina, Principal

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About:  The Just Gents, Ernest E. Just Elementary, Tampa, Florida

The Just Gents meet twice a month to learn character development concepts and discuss the value of true friendship. Role-playing and modeling techniques are used to create and enhance the individual self-esteem and a number of icebreakers and a scenarios are used to practice effective teamwork. The boys are in grades 3 to 5 and range from 8 to 11 years old.

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The Just Gents program is based upon the cardinal principles  Rites of Passage Into Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance and to Uplift the school’s name sake Ernest E. Just, who was a founding member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.


Members of the community are brought in to speak with the youth and encourage them to value themselves, families, friends and neighbors. Throughout the year, the youth learn new strategies to deal with the hardships of school and life as a young male growing up in today’s culture. At the end of the year the youth are engaged in challenges to complete task to exemplify what they have learned throughout the year.

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Upon completing the program the youth receive awards however the youth who complete the challenges are awarded enriched achievement awards such as bicycles, gift cards, etc. at the end of the year banquet.

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ABOUT:  Ernest E. Just Elementary


Ernest Everett Just (August 14, 1883 – October 27, 1941) was a pioneering African American biologist, academic and science writer. Just’s primary legacy is his recognition of the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms. In his work within marine biology, cytology and parthenogenesis, he advocated the study of whole cells under normal conditions, rather than simply breaking them apart in a laboratory setting. In addition to his scientific contributions, On November 17, 1911, Ernest E. Just assisted three Howard students in establishing Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Originally a Junior High School that opened to relieve overcrowding at nearby Blake High School, Just had subsequently been used as a Head Start and 6th Grade Center, and then as an Early Childhood Center, serving preschool, Head Start, and Kindergarten children, until its closing in 2003. In 2003, construction began on a new Elementary School that would, for the first time in 30 years, provide services to the students from its community.
On August 5, 2004, Ernest E. Just Elementary opened its doors to a student population that quickly rose to over 650 children. The staff at Just is striving to provide each and every student with an education and sense of self-worth that will carry them well beyond the education system. Carrying the torch in a legacy that began with our namesake is a challenge that enriches not only the students and staff of Ernest E. Just Elementary, but also the community and beyond.  

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Total Enrollment 305 students
Asian 0.98%
Black 85.57%
Hispanic 9.84%
Indian 0.00%
Multi 1.64%
White 1.97%