Breunka Kimbrough, Miss MVSU, hails from nearby Cleveland, Miss. and plans to go into music education after graduation. Even before arriving at Valley, she knew that she wanted to run for the position. “In high school, I ran for Miss Eastside High School, ESH, and . . . I didn’t make it, I didn’t win. Everyone was surprised; we were all shocked, so I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to do it when I get to a University.’ That brief brush with failure did not deter her from her goal, and that determination to try your best, no matter what the outcomes, was part of her Miss MVSU platform, to “Execute for Excellence.” “I want everyone to always go beyond and just do the impossible,” she said. “You can do it. I want to everyone to know that.” While serving as Miss MVSU, she hopes to have a positive impact on her fellow students. “I plan to get together a mentoring program called ‘My Sister’s Keeper,’ and we’re going to be calling all the ladies to sit down and talk about the things that we struggle with from day to day and try to help each other get through those things. Some of the ladies that I bump into, they don’t have people to talk to,” she said. After graduation, she hopes to either go directly into teaching music or get her master’s degree in music education.
Willie James Young, Jr. was recently named the new director of alumni affairs at Mississippi Valley State University.
“I’m very excited about being here at Valley,” Young said. “It’s kind of like a homecoming, but it’s also an opportunity to make a difference.”
Most recently, Young has worked as the personnel director for the Greenwood Public School District, a position he held from July of 2003 until June of this year.
As director of alumni affairs, Young hopes to reconnect with as many alumni as possible. He is building a database of alumni contact information in order to keep alumni abreast of current events at Valley. “There’s strength in numbers,” Young said. He hopes to get more alumni volunteering their time and resources to the university in order to help the institution in its mission to meet the educational needs of its students.
A native of Greenwood, Miss., Young has been instrumental in the development of the lives of many young people, in particular young men, in the Leflore County area. Because of his desire to develop the whole person, he has often gone far beyond the call of duty to give love, support and time to the young people of this community.
In 1980, Young began his professional career in Greenwood at Republic Finance, Inc., where he eventually became a branch manager. In 1992, he became the owner and manager of C&W Collection Services and an independent associate for Pre-Paid Legal Services (now LegalShield) in 1998. He has worked as a lead counselor with Three Rivers Community Economic Development Corporation’s Leflore County Juvenile Report Center in 2001-2002, and as director of the Education and Training Institute’s Leflore County Fatherhood Initiative Program from 2002-2003. He served as head coach of the Greenwood High School Baseball Team during the 2003 season.
Young is a 1976 graduate of Greenwood High School, where he was involved in the baseball program and other school activities. He graduated with honors in 1980 from Mississippi Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. While at MVSU, he was captain of the MVSU Baseball Team and the Most Valuable Player during the 1980 season. He was also a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society.
“As a first generation college graduate, I truly understand the value of our wonderful university and the impact it has had on the lives of so man,” Young said.
Throughout the years, Young has dedicated his service to several community projects. He has served as co-founder of the Davis School Male Mentor Program, president of the Davis School Parent Teacher Association, a member of the Greenwood Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee, and coach/secretary-treasurer of the New Stone Street Baseball League.
A member of the Baptist faith, Young is a member of Salem Missionary Baptist Church, where he serves as superintendent of the Sunday school.
“I am a true believer that, to whom much is given, much is required,” Young said. “I encourage all alumni to be an even greater part of the bright future of our beloved alma mater.”
An avid baseball fan, Young enjoys hunting, fishing, baseball, golf and cooking in his spare time.
Young and his wife, Wanda Young, are the parents of two adult children, Courtney JeLecia and Willie, III. He is the son of the late Willie J. Young, Sr. and Mary Young of Greenwood.
They work to bridge the gap between the citizens of the City of Dallas and the police department. They also work to build successful relationships with local businesses.
“We assess the needs of the community and address quality of life issues,” said Vaughn.
“‘Chief On The Beat’ is an ongoing community engagement initiative where we bring local businesses like health and public safety vendors, for the public to see what services are available to them,” said Vaughn.
“Volunteering is a valuable element,” said Vaughn, who originally offered to help out at a community engagement event. Because of his positive attitude and willing spirit, he was soon offered the position of community engagement officer.
“I don’t have a specific beat; I go where there is a need. I handle topics like drug awareness, anti-bullying, identify theft, theft, burglary and robbery prevention, holiday safety, banking safety, suspicious activity awareness and 911 education,” said Vaughn.
Vaughn earned a bachelor’s in speech communications from Mississippi Valley State University with a minor in vocal music education.