• Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Singer-songwriter visits fan, performs private concert


JONESBORO- Ark- It was an exciting morning for a group of interns in town that received a special treat from a singer and Jonesboro native Cory Jackson.


“[I’m] Very excited, I thought, ‘how is this happening to me?’" My biggest dream come true,” Kaden Poe, an intern for Project SEARCH, said.


After hearing Kaden, is not only is a country music buff but a big Cory Jackson fan, the singer-songwriter made an appearance this morning.


“When I was approached to do this, I was all on board. Anything like this it just fills my heart with so much joy,” the singer-songwriter said while embracing Kaden.


Jackson is a Jonesboro native and graduate of Westside High School. He made it to the battle round performance of the singing competition show “The Voice” in 2019 performed a private concert and Q&A session for Project SEARCH interns. He also had a special guest singer perform alongside him, Kaden.


“And just to be able to hang out with Kaden, that’s what makes my day,” says Jackson. “It was really fun. We got to hang out and sing together and just really learn about some things they really love to do and hope to do in the future.”


The event left Kaden speechless, saying his favorite part was…


“Getting to meet him,” he said.


The concert took place at St. Bernards Medical Center, where Project SEARCH is housed.


The nine-month-long program teaches young adults with developmental disabilities job skills to prepare them for employment by rotating to different departments in the hospital. It falls of the Little Rock nonprofit ACCESS and a partnership with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services.


“We’ve been here for five years now we’ve had the program here. And so, we’re very excited today to have Cory Jackson with us. Kaden has been super excited about this. He loves country music, so it was really cool to have him part of the program this morning,” St. Bernards organizational and development manager Amy Findley said about the encounter.


Jackson, who has Dyslexia, shared his story about overcoming hurdles to achieve his dreams.


It's something that he and Findley hope will resonate with the interns.


“That really hit home with the interns, and I’m thankful he shared his story with us,” she said.


“No matter what disability you have, the people around you care about you, and they want to help you,” Jackson explains. And I hope that was encouraging to them to see ‘hey, everything's going to be okay.'”


Kaden says this is something he won’t forget anytime soon.


One Project SEARCH employee says they hope to make this an annual event to have Jackson perform for their interns.


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