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I Am Jackson: Darlette Samuels

What is your hometown?

My hometown is Gary, Indiana. Upon graduating from The University of Oklahoma (OU), I was hired by The Jackson Sun as a reporter. I enjoyed a five-year stint as a reporter with The Sun. My work as a crime reporter earned recognition as an award-winning journalist by the Gannett company which publishes USA Today and The Jackson Sun. I have been in Jackson for most of my adult life.

What is your profession?

I currently serve as Vice President for Institutional Advancement/Chief of Staff at Lane College. I stumbled into higher education when Dr. Wesley Cornelious McClure, the then president of Lane College, recruited me to come to Lane as Director of Public Affairs. Under the administration of Dr. Logan Hampton, president of Lane, I was appointed to the positions that I currently serve. President McClure, President Vaulx, and President Hampton, along with close colleagues and my husband have encouraged me to expand my gifts which have shaped who I am today.

Where have you volunteered or contributed your time efforts to give back?

I am actively engaged in the community, currently serving on The Jackson Symphony Board, Community Foundation of West Tennessee Board, Greater Jackson Chamber Board, and Jackson Arts Council where I serve as President of the Board of Directors.

What are some of your favorite things about Jackson?

The people. I have found that the people who live in Jackson embrace their roles as mentors, educators, entrepreneurs, problem solvers, and creators. There is a sense of camaraderie.

Three words that best describe you.

Loyal, humble, and kind.

What is the last thing you Googled?

Clothes, clothes, clothes, primarily for our almost year-old granddaughter, Zoe McKenzie, and not necessarily for me.

Favorite things to do in Jackson?

I love that Jackson has options. I enjoy dining at Skillet Junction downtown and Tekila Mexican Grill in North Jackson. I love arts and culture from The Jackson Symphony to The Ned to the AMP and working out at The LIFT and T.R. White Sportsplex.

What is one thing that you do not go a day without?

Praying. I am passionate about wanting to be the best I can be in my faith to represent Christ in all I do, the best I can be in my work, and the best I can be for my family and community.

Finish this statement, I AM JACKSON because…

I AM JACKSON because the majority of my adult life has been in this city. I have enjoyed working with and celebrating the students at Lane College. I enjoy the people, culture, and atmosphere which has been the place for me to marry, raise a family, and see the fruits of my labor while residing in Jackson. I AM JACKSON because I am committed to the community. Jackson has allowed me to serve on several boards, assist with pageants, and be gainfully employed. I believe in Jackson because Jackson first believed in me.

This article is from VIP Magazine, a premier publication for events and local coverage throughout Jackson and West Tennessee.