Jackson Co. School District superintendent surprises students with new suits for work

Transitioning into the workplace from school can be tough, and professionalism is important. That's a lesson one school superintendent is helping teach.
Updated: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - When you got to a job interview, what you wear can make all the difference. That’s one of the reasons Jackson County School District superintendent Dr. John Stryker is buying suits for some students now looking for jobs.

“I did a mock interview with the class, then the graduation program. Karis was very interested in my suit, and he was complimenting me and I appreciated that,” said Dr. Stryker.

That very compliment from Karis Hamilton led him and his classmates to take a trip to the mall.

“We were just sitting there eating, and I seen you. And that’s the same day I seen you in my classroom. We was talking and stuff and I said, ‘I like your suit,‘” said Hamilton.

The lucky students who acquired a new suit and tie are a part of a program called “LINCS”, which stands for Linking Individuals in Community Support.

LINCS is designed for students ages 19 to 21 who have completed high school in Jackson County. The program focuses on helping young adults with cognitive disabilities receive a college experience and also obtain gainful employment, said LINCS teacher Ryan Mason.

Family members of the graduates say they saw their loved ones grown in ways they didn’t even realize.

“Until I saw all the stuff he did with the program, I didn’t know he was doing that stuff until they mentioned it at his graduation—like going to work in the library or going out cleaning,” said a sister of a LINCS student, Amber Fountain.

Dr. Stryker believes students should not underestimate the value of being professional as well as looking professional.

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