Julie Jackson; B.Soc.Sc.(Sociology) theCODE Team Lead

Julie Jackson profile

by Dave Tulloch

Julie Jackson was born in Toronto. She is the eldest of three siblings. Her parents Monica and Junior Jackson, both from Jamaica, were visiting Toronto when she was born. But while still a baby, her parents returned to Jamaica with her. She spent the next five years in Jamaica and was then sent to Boston to live with a family member where she would continue her primary education. For the next several years she continued this phase of her development going back and forth between Boston and Jamaica, but when she was thirteen, she reunited with her mother who was now living in Brooklyn, New York.

Five years later when Julie was eighteen, a single mother and still living in Brooklyn, she decided to head back to Canada. She set her sights on Ottawa, took the greyhound bus from Brooklyn to Ottawa, and along with her young baby daughter, she arrived in Ottawa to start a new life. Julie enrolled at the University of Ottawa, where she would complete an undergraduate degree in Sociology several years later. She then attended Carleton University and obtained Management Certificate in Human Resources Management. She continued her education at Algonquin College where she obtained a Professional Accounting Diploma. Throughout this period, Julie also worked various jobs to support herself, and raise her child, while she continue her education.

After accumulating a strong set of academic credentials, she gained employment within the banking segment as a bank officer providing clients with portfolio investment advice. She then launched out as an independent mortgage agent, counseling clients on the process of preparing to purchase as first-time home buyers and/or purchasing investment properties. She has also provided taxation advisory services, relating to personal and corporate taxes, while acting as a liaison between her clients and the Canada Revenue Agency. And at the present time, Julie is working for the Federal Government managing pensions for the Canadian Armed Forces. In this capacity, she trains and supports a team of agents on how to respond to pension inquiries within the parameters of the respective legislations.

Julie has a passion to serve her community, with a specific focus on young people. She has directed her energy and volunteered her time to help those who are most vulnerable, especially youths that are “at risk”. This group has become her primary target. She seized an opportunity to do this work when she was introduced to Pastor Joseph a co-founder of theCODE, an Ottawa-based mentoring organization that mentors young boys. It was co-founded by the Pastor Joseph Kiirya of the River Jordan Ministries and Gerry Organ, an ordained minister who was a member of the Ottawa Rough Riders 1977 winning Grey Cup team. Initially, theCODE focused on matching young boys, especially those from single-parent families with Christian men as mentors. Julie wanted her son to be a part of this program, and he wanted to do that as well. Her son was matched with a Mentor after the application and matching processes were successfully completed.

Within several months, Pastor joseph asked Julie if she would volunteer to serve with theCODE, her role would be to oversee its financials. She was very happy to take on that role, and she was well-equipped with all the skills needed to get this done.  She served theCODE in that capacity for approximately three years, taking it from its infancy through the build phase. And now some seven years later organization’s maturity is becoming evident.   But in early 2021 during Julie’s third year as a volunteer with theCODE, the primary demands of work and family started to become more onerous. After finding another competition professional to replace her, she decided to take a break from her current post. Julie was also convinced that the work that theCODE was doing was extremely critical. This was always on the top of her mind. She could see the evidence in her son who was a mentee.

Julie returned to the CODE within several months after her leave of absence.  She brought along a well-thought-out and documented proposal to expand theCODE that currently targets boys to include girls as well. And just one year later theCODE has a well-established girls’ mentoring group. It is staffed by a cross-section of professionals, all Christian women, and all volunteers, and each one brings a set of professional skills to establish an effective leadership team. They have attracted and are currently training others who are volunteering as mentors.  And the mentees have begun to apply.

Readers who are interested to learn more about the CODE can visit their website at: TheCODE | No Son or Daughter Left Behind (thecodeottawa.ca).


Dave Tulloch

Dave Tulloch was born in Jamaica. He immigrated to Canada in 1970 to pursue post-secondary education. He earned a diploma in electronics engineering technology from Algonquin College, Bachelor of Admin and Bachelor of Commerce (Hon) from the University of Ottawa, and a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University.  He has an extensive career in information technology and in IT consulting with Systemhouse, KPMG, and Oracle Corporation where he retired as a director. Dave taught IT and business courses at CEGEP (Hull) and tutored at the Wake Tech College in North Carolina.  He wrote articles for the Ottawa Spectrum publication that focused on Ottawa’s Visible Minorities community and has written a book documenting the life stories of early Caribbean Immigrants to Ottawa, scheduled for publication later this year. He can be contacted via email: [email protected]