Yamile Jackson earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering.
In 2001, after working in engineering and construction for the oil and gas industry for over a decade, Jackson gave birth 12 weeks prematurely to her son, Zachary, who weighed less than 2 pounds and was in the intensive care unit for 5 months. Three weeks after he was born, Tropical Storm Allison pounded the Gulf Coast of Texas, causing devastating flooding throughout the area. Power outages caused Zachary’s life-support equipment to be shut down, so Jackson and her husband, Larry, along with hospital staff kept the newborn alive “by hand” for nine hours while they waited to be evacuated. Miraculously, Zachary survived the harrowing ordeal, partially inspiring the TNT movie “14:Hours.”
In those dark hours, Jackson made a promise to Zachary that his pain and struggle to survive were not going to be in vain. On Zachary’s behalf she founded Nurtured by Design, becoming the pioneer in ergonomics and safety engineering specializing in helping mothers nurture their newborns and older children.
Her award-winning Nurturing Technology™ includes The Zaky™, Kangaroo Zak®, and Zen by Zak™, which are now used in over 300 children’s hospitals as well as countless homes all over the world. She engineers evidence-based products that improve safety, sleep, development and quality of life for both mother and child. Thousands of Nurtured by Design’s products have been donated to the most critical babies in hospitals in over 50 countries on behalf of Zachary.
Jackson has been featured in major domestic and international media, including ABC, CBS, Reuters, Fox and Friends, Oprah, Rachael Ray, The Doctors, and the fall 2016 issue of the Cullen College of Engineering Parameters Magazine. She received the Top 20 Latino Innovators of the Year award by NBC Latino, The Oprah and Toyota’s Standing Ovation Award, Marketer of the Year Award from the American Marketing Association Houston, Ultimate Latina Award in the health category by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Outstanding Woman Owned Business by SCORE FOUNDATION.
Today, Zachary is a healthy 15-year-old and is Nurtured by Design’s CIO (Chief Inspirational Officer).