Photo courtesy Hannah Richards
Mississippi College Admissions Counselor Hannah Richards gleefully claims Mississippi, specifically the Jackson metro, as her home—despite spending her entire childhood in Chattanooga, Tenn., before moving to Mississippi to attend MC.
“For anybody who is from or has moved to Mississippi, it kind of gets in your blood, and you realize the people you meet and the experiences you have become a part of you,” she says.
After graduating in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Richards moved to Washington, D.C., working on-and-off on the Hill for a year before the Magnolia State began to beckon. She returned to MC to pursue a master’s degree in professional and corporate communication, which she will finish this December.
“I knew I wanted to live in Jackson and be part of the people who believe in Jackson, and work to find ways to talk about how great it is and make it better,” Richards says.
As an advocate for the capital city, Richards thinks it’s up to Jackson residents to be individual evangelists for the things that they love about the metro.
“We don’t have the Yellowstones of western states, and we don’t have the New York Cities of northern states, but we have heart, and we have people, and we have just really impressive ways of connecting,” she says. “There’s so much more of a ‘we’re in this together’ mentality.”
As an admissions counselor, Richards recruits incoming students from Texas, Georgia and northern Louisiana, and in the upcoming year she will work to recruit people throughout the quad-county area, from Vicksburg to Gluckstadt.
“My job is different every day, but the goal of my job is to just talk to people about how … there is an entire office of people (at MC) whose whole job is to fight for you,” she says. “The students we recruit aren’t just numbers or potential income. The students we recruit are pieces of the puzzle that makes MC what it is.”
Richards loves hosting people and cooking for them when it’s safe to entertain: “One way I try to connect with my community is just bringing people in my home—finding the people who haven’t found their community yet and bringing them into mine.”
A member of Redeemer Church in Jackson, Richards volunteers with the children’s ministry. She also likes to travel and promote the city she loves.
“I want people to know that Jackson’s worth the risk. Being a citizen of Jackson and getting involved sometimes doesn’t always feel like it pays off, but it does, whether you see it or not,” she says.