|Updated: 8/24/2012 5:48 pm
||Published: 8/24/2012 3:38 pm
West Tulsa --
A famous civil rights leader makes a stop in Tulsa.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson surprised students at Central High School.
Most of the students had no idea he was coming. Arriving shortly before 9:00 in the morning, Jackson greeted students and teachers before making his way inside.
"I was coming in from home and I saw him, and it was kind of shocking like what are you doing here and then they told me he was speaking,” says senior, DeVaughn Davis.
Students could hardly believe their eyes that this famous civil rights leader wanted to talk to them. Before going inside, he spoke with FOX23 about his mission.
"To inspire youth and to defy their odds and to create dreams, and to choose to go forward by hope and not backwards by fear,” says Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Talking to an auditorium mostly filled with seniors, Jackson spoke about the importance of staying in school.
"The stuff he was saying made me feel like their are people out there that believe in us,” says senior, Stefany Rodriguez.
She was one of the lucky ones who got to see Jackson in person.
"It was a good experience because you don't think you're going to meet someone in history who had a part in the world that we live in,” she says.
At one point, Jackson asked those students who knew someone who had done drugs to stand up. Nearly 99% of the students rose to their feet.
"It was shocking that we all know people like that, and that we have people like that in our family,” says Rodriguez.
Jackson also spoke about the importance of voting. At one point, he had all of the 18-year-olds in the room come down and register.
"In our youth the suspension rates are much too high and the drop-out rates are much too high. They must put an appreciation and higher value on the power of education,” says Jackson.
Jackson also visited First Baptist Church in north Tulsa. There he met with community leaders about starting a Rainbow Push Coalition chapter here.