#1,583 Why Stay in Mississippi?

This morning I had the great pleasure of speaking to a group of high school juniors who are at the top of their class from all over south Mississippi at my alma mater—Jones Junior College. I was the keynote speech on why you can stay in Mississippi and be successful, which is actually a topic I’m pretty passionate about. I hate that some people think they have to leave here to have a great career. There were a couple hundred kids, which made me a little nervous since I’m used to speaking to college-age groups in a classroom setting where I can field questions and I knew perfectly well that 16 year old people would be pretty mum at 10 am. Jesse is president and in the student recruiting organization so he and that group were leading the high school kids in some loud and rowdy games to wake them up before I spoke, thankfully.

Ben tried to take pictures with my nice camera, but this is the best we got—while I was waiting backstage:


Look! They’re awake!

Byron was there, of course.

And the school gave me a little gift for speaking which was totally unnecessary—getting to do it is gift enough. I so loved being a student there. I hope these kids who will be there in a couple years will love it the same way Ben and I did.

Mama is there on the left, just out of the frame. She hates all pictures of herself, but GOSH she was looking cute today. I hate you can’t see!

People are apparently surprised by my height when they meet me in person if they’ve only seen photos of me online. How tall do you think I seem to be? Weird—but now I’m just curious since it’s happened more than 3 times.