YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Youngstown woman has gotten her high school diploma and decided to give back as a way to celebrate.

Precious Jackson is 32 years old. Graduating high school has been a goal of hers that she never gave up on.

“I took this test about nine times, I took the [Ohio Graduation Test] about nine times, I was taking it since I was about 19 years old, and I just want people to know that there’s help out there,” she said.

Jackson said the staff at the Academy for Urban Scholars helped and supported her along the way, making it possible for her to pass the test she needed in order to graduate.

So, to celebrate her achievement, she decided to hold a community event — the South Side Classic.

“I know I just didn’t want to just celebrate me,” she said. “I wanted to bring awareness to our community, resources, networking, food. All these wonderful people out here supporting this cause, it’s just amazing to me.”

Jackson said she’s always wanted to hold an event like this. She picked Homestead Park as the location for a special reason.

“I kind of wanted to recreate the narrative about the park. Because we have lost victims here, and I wanted to pay homage and honor to that,” she said. “I just wanted the community to know that parks can still be safe, we can make a safe environment as long as we control our actions and you know, just do the right thing.”

As part of the event, Jackson had a banner made in honor of 16-year-old Isaiah Walker, who passed away after he was shot in the park. She said in the future she would also like to create a memorial for Brandon Wesley, who was also fatally shot there.

For now, she had vendors, food, music, and community members come out to support one another and show unity.

Jackson has a message for anyone else out there working to graduate high school.

“Just keep trying… It’s definitely worth it, and it’s definitely achievable,” she said.

Jackson said she plans to continue holding these events every year.