Updated: Mar 9, 2021
"As a youngster, mentorship and guidance was imperative for my growth. Growing up the youngest of four boys, I have been fortunate to learn from the mistakes and accomplishments of my three older brothers. There were limited resources in my hometown. Consequently, to stay occupied I became involved in sports at a young age.
My journey as a student athlete from Leland, MS to Jackson State University has been a blessing. I had an unusual student athlete collegiate experience where I was afforded the opportunity to play basketball and football respectively at the Division I level while playing for Jackson State University. Before graduating from Jackson State University, I had to complete an internship in order to receive my Bachelor’s Degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation with a concentration in Recreation Administration. I selected Mission First as my internship site. The internship opportunity with Mission First was one of the best experiences God could have given me in my life. When I first arrived at Mission First, I knew that it was nobody but God who led me to 275 Roseneath Avenue in Jackson, MS. The first person I met was Coach Bridges, and we connected immediately. I recall as a kid, I often heard the older folks say, “He’s a guy that wears many hats.” In that moment, I realized I finally met a guy that wears many hats—Coach Bridges.
Through my experience at Mission First, I have seen the best of both worlds. I have mentored today’s youth, while also receiving mentorship from inspiring leaders like Coach Bridges. His inspiration is one of the primary reasons that led to me completing my Masters Degree in Sports Science with a concentration in Sports Management as well as completing my Ph.D. in Education Administration. Additionally, I am also proud to be an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at my alma mater, Jackson State University. My life experiences support advocating for the importance of mentorship. I am thankful for my relationship with Coach Bridges as well as with the Mission First Family."
-De'suan Dixon, former Sports Ministry Intern from Leland, MS