Visit Jackson Celebrates Clausell Elementary Third Graders

May 14, 2024

Clausell Cermony 2024 Rickey Thigpen puts backpack on child

Visit Jackson, the official Destination Leadership Organization for the city of Jackson, held its MY CITY Young Ambassador completion ceremony at Clausell Elementary this past Thursday.

Dr. Rickey Thigpen, Visit Jackson's President & CEO, spoke to the third graders and passed out certificates. The students also received an exclusive MY CITY backpack to celebrate their accomplishments.

"As a product of Jackson Public Schools (JPS), I can't properly express the pride that I have to see how these students have dedicated themselves to learning about our city, its history and its potential," said Dr. Rickey Thigpen. "They are equipped to be ambassadors for Jackson, sharing its unique charm and story with the world, and positioned to be incredible young leaders. Principal Thomas and her staff are doing incredible work with these young scholars."

Kim Lewis, Visit Jackson Destination Development Manager, administers the program designed to educate young scholars, specifically third graders, in the JPS system about their communities to create an affinity for the place they call home.

Each month, Lewis visits the third-grade class and offers different speakers or lessons about the people, places and events that make Jackson, Mississippi, the City With Soul. Scholars interact with the speakers, do hands-on activities and are eager learners.

"I enjoy highlighting the amazing aspects of our capital city and am passionate about educating others," said Kim Lewis. "Sharing the positive things that make our community special and unique helps to foster a sense of pride. It can be very impactful, especially for young scholars who can do this while learning about their local history, culture, and community while participating in our program."

The scholars have participated in the Festival of Trees at the Westin Jackson since the program's inception. Each year, the scholars venture downtown in their capital city and are treated to lunch at Estelle Southern Table, the Westin's restaurant. They also learn about etiquette and how to read a menu.

Thea Faulkner, Director of Partners in Education, also attended the event, thanking Visit Jackson for its contribution to the educational experience of JPS students. She challenged the students to take the lessons they had learned throughout their academic journey.

Each student received a formal certificate with the MY CITY brand. They also enjoyed snacks, especially the Mississippi-shaped iced tea cakes from Campbell's Bakery in Fondren.

About the MY CITY Young Ambassador Program

The MY CITY Young Ambassador Program was designed to educate young scholars, specifically third graders, in the Jackson Public School system about their communities, thus creating a sense of community pride. The program runs during each school year. The program was implemented in 2022.