Raven Jackson

Raven Jackson


Chimp Haven

Keithville, LA US

Sometimes we think that we have dreams that are unobtainable. But look at my story-wherever your starting place is, you can still obtain the goals that you want.


By Roadtrip Nation

Raven Jackson


My road in life took a while to figure out.
While she was in college, she was assigned to do behavioral studies of three species of animals.
She enjoyed working with the wolves and cheetahs, but it was quickly apparent that working with the chimps was her passion.
After college, she was slated to begin a residency at a primate research facility in Oregon.
The job hinged on her passing her medical board exam; she failed by one point, and the residency was revoked.
Seeing her dreams put on hold made her depressed for some time-as a type-A personality, she didn't know how to deal with that disappointment.
Eventually she applied to another internship working with small monkeys, but she let them know that working with chimps was her dream.
Her boss found her a connection to Chimp Haven, but once again, the job hinged on her passing her medical board exams.
This time, she said "failure wasn't an option"; she devoted a huge part of her life to studying, she passed the test, "and then everything fell into place."
Keep following my journey



I oversee the health needs of more than 200 chimps living at our sanctuary.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Environment & Nature
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

I go on daily rounds of the chimp sanctuary to ensure the health needs of all of the animals in our care are being met from nutrition, play / recreation, and more.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

There are many routes to your final destination. Some straight forward, some with unexpected bumps, twists and turns. Despite the route taken treasure the scenery along the way and, keep pressing until you reach your expected end.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I'm not smart enough for this. "

Challenges I Overcame

Failed Board Exams

Interviewed By

Rattle the Cage

Rattle the Cage

In New Orleans, the team experiences the undeterred spirit of the city when they speak to a chef, a graphic designer, a chimp veterinarian, and an alligator wrestler. Later, in D.C., they interview Ben Drexler, who left the non-profit sector to become a poi (fire) spinner. Ben reflects on his bold career transition and urges the road-trippers to find their own burning passions.