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Follow Me Into Business Activities:

  • Membership meetings
  • Workshops
  • Shadowing
  • Mentoring
  • Internships
  • Guest Speakers
  • Summer Jobs for students, ages 16-18
  • Corporate Tours

Since the program began, the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber has served nearly 600 students.  Currently, the program is only available to students residing in Jackson, TN.  For more information, call 731-424-2030.

Photo above: Madison County Deputy Mayor Tony White welcomes Follow Me participants into the county building here businesses are opened, marriage licenses secured and court judges rule.

During June and July,  the African American Chamber  provides two-hour workshops and training on Thursdays and/or Fridays.  This includes1-hour shadowing and mentoring opportunities for ages 12-15 and paid employment for 16-18 year olds in July.  In the past, a 4-week computer class has been offered during June.  Transportation for the City Tour is generally provided by Lane College. Program coordinator is Mary Weddle.

For ages 16-18, The Chamber also provided 12 paid summer jobs,  funded by the City of Jackson, during the month of July.  Job sites included  Family Healthcare of Jackson, Food Rite, It's Printed, Lane College Athletic Department, Nell Huntspon Flower Box, RIFA, The Harris Agency, and Walgreens-South Highland.

BancorpSouth President Doug Roth hosted a luncheon for Follow Me teen workers, parents and leaders of the Jackson Madison County  African American Chamber on July 21, 2015 at the main branch located at 301 E. Main St.  This was the second year the bank has hosted the event.

Members of 2015 Follow Me Into Business Summer Jobs Program toured Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) on July 24, 2015

City Tour

Follow me into business

Participants in the Follow Me Into Business® Summer Jobs Program for ages 12-18 learned that hearing about old and new places in their hometown can be lots of fun.  So far,  the City Tour has taken youngsters to Jackson City Hall, Madison County Court House, The NED, Casey Jones Museum, Jackson Energy Authority in Jackson  and to the West TN Heritage Center(see photo above) in Brownsville.  At the Casey Jones museum, they had a rousing good time learning about the real Casey Jones, his fireman Sid and the man who wrote the famous Legend of Casey Jones. Then a scavenger hunt gave them the opportunity to collaborate and to learn more of the information available. Special thanks to Lane College and a great driver for transportation.

​​​​​​Follow Me Into Business Summer Jobs Program reset for Madison County Library, 433 E. Lafayette, Jackson, TN -- Saturday, May 18, 3pm-4:30pm

Nearly 30 young people, ages 12 to 18, living in Madison County have registered for the 2019 FMIB Summer Jobs program which runs June 6-July 26.  Regular sessions are held twice weekly on Thursday and Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Huntspon Business Center, 357 North Royal Street.. Call 731-424-2030 for more information.

This year's training sessions will incorporate how STEM is used by business owners who are participating as speakers. On June 21, Toyota Bodine Aluminum will tell about CANstruction and other related activities. Other speakers are Sherita Graham of BancorpSouth, The City Tour in July will highlight technology with a trip to Discovery Park that includes an overnight stay so participants arrive at the park bright and early the next day. Chaperones are needed: Science teachers and parents would be very appreciated.  Program Advisor is Mary Weddle.

Highlights of 2018

The 2018 FMIB Summer Program concluded with a Pizza Party for ages 12-18 on Friday, July 27, 6pm at the Huntspon Business Complex, 357 North Royal Street. Guest speaker was Stine Moss-Cooperwood, community services director of Keep Tennessee Beautiful. 

For more information on the Follow Me Into Business youth development program , call 731-424-2030 or email

Highlights of 2017

UTM's Tara Tansil-Gentry was the keynote speaker for the annual Awards Ceremony held in 2017.  Outlining the dangers of social media to future opportuntiies and showcasing new technology,  Tara Tansil-Gentry spoke to program participants and parents the Follow Me Awards Banquet on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at T.R. White Sportsplex.  She cautioned young people to be careful about friend connections, messages and photos posted on Facebook, Snapchat and other social media that might impact future job opportunities, run afoul of legal standards and/or expose them to predators. A former basketball coach and current UTMartin lecturer, she is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents Mobilization and Technology Review Team, which studies the potential use of new technology in the classroom. 

Photo: Second Column Top -- Some participants took advantage the  City Tour to visit McKellar Sipes Airport, Armstrong Flooring and the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center where they were met by Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls (See photo on upper left, column two. 

Photo above:  Follow Me into Business participants prepare to tour Madison County Court House.