Name someone that has been influential in your life.
My mother, Jackie, is the most influential person in my life. Her humility, compassion and heart for others is far beyond measure. She is the type of lady that walks into a room and says “ahh, there you are, so good to see you” instead of “ahh, I’m here.” Her lessons whether from guidance (or corrective action…lol) taught me a great deal about life… never give up on my dreams, always take up for those who can’t take up for themselves and when confronted with adversity- forgive and move forward as we do not know other people’s circumstances.
Name a hobby.
Without a doubt my favorite hobby is fishing. Six O'clock on a Saturday morning as the sun breaks over the horizon you can find me somewhere between the Gulfport, MS harbor and the Louisiana marsh jamming out to the Doobie Brothers or making my first cast for a specked trout at the west end of Cat Island. My earliest memories typically involved a fishing pole, the Gulf of Mexico, fishing and friends… still the same later in life but with a cold beverage!
What does being a Great Futures Gala honoree mean to you?
It’s a true honor to be recognized and even more of an honor to be in such good company among the other honorees. My father used to say, the measure of our character is how we treat those that can do nothing for us. The Boy’s & Girls Club through Club Blue reaffirms that statement in their daily work to improve the lives our youth.
Where did you grow up?
Gulfport, MS and Brandon, MS during my high school years
Why do you feel it’s important to give back?
I’ve been blessed to even be in a position to give back. In college, I used to write this quote in each binder as a daily reminder… “to whom much is given much is required.” It’s so true. I believe we have an obligation to help each other, spend our time in ways that bring about positive change and always strive to do what is right.
What did you want to be growing up?
A veterinarian. From the time, I was young enough to play in the woods and build forts I had an affinity for animals. My house was always a refuge for animals in need of care. I’m surprised my nick name wasn’t changed to Noah with all the animals I brought home for supervision, from squirrels that fell from the nest, birds with a broken wing, to every stray dog and cat in sight. If my mother reads this, I’d thank my mother for her patience, especially for the possum I hid in the laundry room.