Podcasts have become a point of sale for many who are spending more time at home due to the pandemic. Because of this, 17-year-old Jackson Robol decided to start a podcast from his own bedroom in Greenville, NC
Jackson lives with autism. His father, Ken Robol, teaches computer science at Vance Granville Community College, which includes a class on podcasting. Due to COVID-19, he is now teaching virtual classes from home.
Ken Robol said his son, like many who live with autism, had trouble putting sentences together unless he was watching sports, stating, “We would hear him in his room and he would play bit by bit on his television . “
Then Robol Jackson suggested starting a sports podcast and getting local athletes to do five- to 10-minute interviews with Zoom. His father helps edit the program and the two post the results on Jackson’s Facebook page.
Every podcast begins with, “I’m Jackson Robol and welcome to the Jackson Robol Show.” The rest of Jackson’s introduction includes his list of favorite subjects: “It’s a sports show, an NBA sports show, a college sports show, and more.”
Since August, Jackson has interviewed Greenville radio host Marc Miller, Durham Bulls Vice President Mike Birling, and Pitt County Special Olympics organizers Brett Harpe and Cam McFarland, among others.
“Without COVID-19, it wouldn’t really have started because I was able to help him,” said Robol, who always tells his students to discover their own niche, their own talent and find a way to make a living from it.
It can also be a key to his own son’s future.
“People with autism have a challenge that doesn’t have many job opportunities; there just aren’t any,” Robol said. “Jackson has a very personable personality. He’s a very good kid and people tend to respond to that.”
He believes his son’s personality is why Jackson is gaining new podcast followers.
“I got about 450 likes last week,” said Jackson, whose father said he got about 500 views per Facebook video. .
One of Jackson’s podcasts stands out from the rest and it’s not about sports. Jackson interviewed autism attorney Daniel Svoboda, whose cartoon-style Imagifriends characters were televised on public television and in a national home renovation program.
Svoboda is also a conference speaker with messages about autism.
When Jackson asked, “What is the most powerful thing you have overcome?” Svoboda replied, “In the days when I was bullied … and in my time with autism, I called bad names.”
Overcoming his own disability with determination, Svoboda says to Jackson, “I am wholeheartedly committed to promoting Autism Acceptance and Autism Inclusion and want to help the world know and understand that autism is known and understood and not judged or.” must be judged in harsh ways criticized. “