Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

County News

First Lady Teresa Parson makes a stop in Jackson

Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson spoke at the Jackson Civic Center earlier this month. Photo by Jay Forness

Missouri First Lady Teresa Parson made a stop in Jackson on Oct. 4, meeting with members of the Cape Girardeau County Pachyderm Club at the Jackson Civic Center.

Parson was in southeast Missouri to visit 10 schools participating in the JAG-Missouri program. JAG-Missouri is part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates national program, which help at-risk students graduate high school and be successful in whatever career path they choose.

“It’s for students that are at risk due to family problems, poverty or they have personal trauma in their life,” Parson said. “Teachers in the school system can identify them and encourage them to take part in the JAG-Missouri program.”

Parson said the program is structured as an elective course that students can take toward graduation. She is a co-chair of JAG-Missouri with her husband, Gov. Mike Parson.

“The kids in this program are amazing,” Parson said. “Most of the time, they have a lot of potential. They just don’t know how to unleash that potential sometimes because of their family situations at home.”

Parson said the program in Missouri has grown since the state-specific extension of the national program was created in 2017. At that time, only six schools participated in theprogram – all located in the bootheel. “Today, we have over 104 programs in 74 Missouri schools,” she said.

The program now includes high school programs that focus on career exploration, resume building, interview skills and work experience, and younger programs focusing on good decision-making and leadership skills. Jackson Junior High School is participating in the JAG-Missouri program.

Parson said she will have visited 24 schools this year by the end of October, with additional plans to visit more schools next spring.

“My initiatives are all children-related,” Parson said. “As a mother of two and a grandmother of six, I think the next generation of Missourians is very important to the governor and me.”

Her other main initiative is to advocate for children with special needs. Parson said the Missouri Governor’s Mansion hosts several events for special needs children including an Easter egg hunt and sign-language visits with Santa for deaf children.

Parson also hosts a summer service challenge, where elementary students are asked to log in service hours over the summer.

Students who complete the challenge receive a special certificate of recognition from the first lady. This year, more than 500 kids participated across the state.

Parson also spoke about the governor’s mansion, which will be decorated for Christmas starting a week after Thanksgiving.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

You May Also Like

City News

A 26-year-old Mississippi man was disarmed, arrested and charged with murder following an early morning shooting spree on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at the Town...

City News

A 58-year-old Jackson man drowned after going into Jackson City Park’s Rotary Lake during the July 4th firework show Sunday night. The man’s body...

City News

Americans frustrated by the policies of the current administration in Washington have let their feelings be known in large sporting venues across the country...


Former Jackson High School athletes will soon be honored in a new hall of fame program approved by the Jackson R-2 School Board during...