This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.

From homeless to helping others

Alumna’s personal experiences inform her career path
Story Series
Bridgewater Magazine

When Jackson's Center for Leadership, Advocacy, and Supportive Services, Inc., helps people facing homelessness, CEO Sasha Heggie-Jackson, ’16, can relate to what they are experiencing. She overcame homelessness herself about six years ago.

“I know what it’s like to need help and not know where to go,” she said. “A lot of what I’ve been through has helped me want to give back and educate others. … Being able to help someone else who may be experiencing something similar is really rewarding.”

That goal of assisting others inspired Ms. Heggie-Jackson to start the nonprofit center with her wife, Patricia Jackson.

“My wife and I last summer were thinking about the Brockton community and saw a gap in services,” said Ms. Heggie-Jackson, who began her higher education journey at Massasoit Community College. “There’s an overwhelming amount of families that are in need.”

The multi-faceted organization, which focuses on the Brockton area, collects school supplies for children and runs programs to educate people on topics such as eviction prevention. It also strives to provide a safe space for people of varying genders and sexualities. She hopes her organization expands elsewhere in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Ms. Heggie-Jackson, who spent much of her youth in Brockton, earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from BSU and is attending graduate school at Wheelock College in Boston. She is also an LGBTQ sexual assault counselor for Health Imperatives, a nonprofit community-based agency that provides vital health and human services to nearly 30,000 families and individuals each year from communities in Southeastern Massachusetts and also works
with BSU.

She praised professors in BSU’s School of Social Work and the Pride Center for supporting her. “I had some pretty remarkable professors in the social work department who let me know the possibilities were endless,” the Providence, Rhode Island, resident recalled. Even when she thought she couldn’t do something, she said, “They continued to push me and challenge me.”

While BSU faculty supported and encouraged Ms. Heggie-Jackson, she has always had a desire to help others. “It’s almost like social work is in your blood,” she said. “You don’t choose it. It chooses you.”

Learn about resources for current BSU students in need. 

Contact Us

Bridgewater Magazine keeps alumni, faculty, students and their families, staff, and friends of BSU informed about the university community and its impact on the region. This magazine is written, designed and edited by the Office of Creative Services and Publications with the needs of its varied audiences at heart and in mind.

For correspondence regarding Bridgewater Magazine, address all mail to:

Creative Services and Publications
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA 02325

For older issues of Bridgewater Magazine, please visit Virtual Commons