Jessica Lloyd is a friend, business owner, Vicksburg native, devout Christian and most of all a concerned mother. All of that led her to a life of philanthropic work with The Village, an organization that offers college students in the Vicksburg and Port Gibson area emotional support, a group of like-minded peers and a financial deposit each year.
The idea for The Village came to Lloyd after enrolling her daughter into college and witnessing the numerous trials that students endure.
“My husband and I were on our way to drop off my daughter, D’asha, at school, and I was just thinking about how much money we had spent on the dorm and preparing her for college and how we still have money to spend,” said Lloyd. ” I was just thinking that it was a lot of money, and a lot of kids may not have the same resources as my daughter did. I just knew I had to do something, and that’s where The Village started.”
After asking her community if they knew of any college student her family could assist by offering advice or monetary help, she was overwhelmed by the need and wanted to make a difference.
“It was my vision that the students would be inspired by The Village,” she said. “Besides the care packages, cash app and PayPal and different little things like that, I really want it to inspire them to reach back after they graduated to help others in the community that they came from.”
The Village has been operating for only two years but has grown immensely.
Starting off by simply donating funds to her students, Lloyd now offers meet and greets, care packages and encouragement to the students.
“Last year The Village was just on a whim,” said Lloyd. “This year more prayer went into it. We had students fill out an application, More thought went into it. I really just want to figure out what the students really need.”
In the future Lloyd hopes to be able to include as many students as she can into The Village and help them in every way possible.
“I just hope that we can grow and that every year, it’s going to get bigger,” she said. “Right now we need more volunteers, not just people donating. We need people who are willing to write encouraging letters to the students, speak to students who went to their Alma Mater and just give them encouraging advice.
“Hopefully in the future we can become a 501(c)(3) organization, but for now I just really hope that our communities will just get behind our students and support them.”
If you are interested in becoming a part of or donating to The Village, email Jessica Lloyd at email@example.com.See a typo? Report it here.