Blackbelt Voices
Blackbelt Voices
Jan 26, 2022
Turn to Your Neighbor: Jennifer Williams - Cleveland, Mississippi
Play • 7 min

Jennifer Williams of Cleveland, Mississippi, always knew she wanted to be a teacher. When she was a girl, her favorite game was playing school.

Williams is teaching future teachers at the Cleveland Career Development and Technology Center. Once a week, her students get to serve as teacher's assistants, giving them a realistic feel of what it could be like to run a classroom. The center offers a practical learning environment designed to prepare students for employment or future study in various skill areas ranging from auto mechanics and welding to health and public safety. 

As an adult, Williams continues to learn and pass along those lessons to her students. Several years ago, she went through some financial hardship and needed extra funds to get her through to the next month. A friend suggested she try a payday lender. Nine loans later and drowning in debt, Williams found help with Southern Bancorp. 

Season 3 of Blackbelt Voices is brought to you by Southern Bancorp.

Southern Bancorp is one of America’s oldest and largest community development financial institutions, founded to provide underserved communities with access to capital and the wealth-building tools needed to grow. On the web at and


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