Our Advisors

Raising awareness and funds for Mississippi's Adult Education programs.

Second Chance Mississippi is raising awareness and funds for adult education programs to help others lift themselves up out of poverty. Helping our fellow Mississippians get their GED and skill certification so that they can earn a family sustaining wage will not only better their lives, but their community and our state as a whole. It's a win win for us all."

Archie Manning

Former NFL Quarterback

Archie Manning is a former NFL quarterback who played for the New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings.  Manning attended the University of Mississippi where he was named an All-American Quarterback and his number is retired.  Archie was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame and is a member of other Halls of Fame including Louisiana and Mississippi.  

His community activities include Louisiana Special Olympics, the New Orleans Area Boy Scout Council, the Salvation Army, United Way Speakers Bureau, Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee and the New Orleans Sports Foundation and is Chairman of the Board of the National Football Foundation.  He has co-authored a book with his son Peyton Manning entitled, “Manning: A Father, His Sons and A Football Legacy”.

I recently spoke at a GED graduation ceremony and saw firsthand the grit and determination it took for those students to succeed. Whether their education was derailed by obstacles beyond their control or of their own making, these students took the steps necessary to become productive citizens of our great State. Supporting 'Second Chance' will help more adults make this journey to responsible citizenship." 

Senator Sally Doty

Mississippi State Senator

Sally Doty, of Brookhaven, MS is an attorney and member of the Mississippi State Senate.  

She recently completed a summer program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and previously served as the Director of Legal Writing at Mississippi College School of Law.  Sally has a leadership role on the Governor’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force, and authored legislation to address the extremely high rate of unplanned pregnancies among college age teens.  

She is frequently invited to speak on this issue to local and national groups, and even appeared on the nationally syndicated show, "The Doctors" to discuss prevention efforts in Mississippi. Sally was named Legislator of the Year by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Association in 2014, and also a "Hero" by the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention.

I've lived in the Mississippi Delta all my life, and I can attest to the dramatic difference Second Chance Mississippi will make in the lives of Delta residents who long for the education and job preparation that Dickie Scruggs' program is providing. At Double Quick, we see the dividends of  work force development training in our employees. Their rise up the employment ladder to management coincides with their increased feeling of self-worth and pride in their accomplishments. Second Chance Mississippi gives Delta residents a much-needed opportunity to succeed."

Tom Gresham

President of Double Quick, Inc

Tom Gresham of Indianola, MS is President of Double Quick, Inc. and current President of the Board of Directors of SIGMA, a nationwide trade association of fuel distributors. Former Vice-Chairman of the Mississippi Junior College Board and former Chairman of the Mississippi Economic Council, Tom serves as one of the three commissioners on the Mississippi Gaming Commission. 

In today’s workforce, a high school diploma or GED alone is not enough to land a job with family-sustaining wages. The Second Chance Mississippi program is committed to supporting adults who are working toward a high school equivalency diploma, and, at the same time, learning a job skill and employer recognized certifications."

Colleen Hartfield

Vice President of Community Relations and Governmental Affairs, Hinds Community College

Colleen Hartfield is Vice President for Community Relations and Governmental Affairs at Hinds Community College. Mrs. Hartfield also serves as a communications specialist for the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges.  

In 2007, this group successfully launched the “Mississippi Values Community and Junior Colleges” advocacy campaign, which helped to secure historic levels of funding for the community colleges. In that role, she led efforts to raise awareness of the need for more comprehensive Adult Education programs at community colleges. She received the 2015 Leadership Award from the Women in Higher Education, Mississippi Network, recognizing her advocacy of women’s issues. 

We are all created to make an impact and difference in the lives of others. One of the most powerful and direct ways to change a person’s life is through education. Second Chance Mississippi is a much needed resource that is designed to recapture and help educate a part of the Mississippi community that some people have written off. Thanks to Second Chance Mississippi and Mississippi’s community colleges joining forces, many of our fellow Mississippians have a new hope and helping hand in overcoming the educational hurdles that may have deterred them in the past. Mississippi and countless families will directly benefit from the efforts of Second Chance Mississippi." Jesse Mitchell

Jesse Mitchell

Founding Partner of The Mitchell Firm

Mr. Mitchell earned his Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi while playing college football.  He played defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens before earning his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi. 

He began his legal career at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz before forming The Mitchell Firm.  He is a member of various boards associated with the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Robert C. Khayat School of Law Board of Directors.  He is also the sitting president for the University of Mississippi’s M-Club.

Tallahatchie River Foundation invests in young children. Partnering with Second Chance will support the parents of those young children. Building upon education is the only way for Mississippians to rise to their fullest potential so Mississippi can rise to its."

Morgan Freeman

Actor/Film Director

Freeman is one of the most recognizable figures in American cinema.  Winning an Academy Award for his role in "Million Dollar Baby" he was also nominated for his roles in "Street Smart" and "The Shawshank Redemption".  Freeman was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards and received the 39th AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.  His production company, Revelations Entertainment, produced "Invictus" in which he played Nelson Mandela.  He founded  Tallahatchie River Foundation because of his passion for early childhood development and education and is an avid supporter of environmental causes. 

It’s tragic. Mississippi has such a deep hole to crawl out of—the cycle of low performance and high poverty. We need every tool in the box to overcome this. We need a strong GED program and skills training, but that’s expensive to run, I know this first hand because my men’s church group ran a GED prep class for years until the costs became insurmountable. So this cause, started by Dick, is one we really need in Mississippi—funding to run the programs and awareness to encourage fellow Mississippians to come back to get an education—either a GED and,or, skills training. This can go a long way."

Dr. Andrew Mullins, Jr.

Chief of Staff, Emeritus • Director of the Mississippi Teacher Corps

Dr. Mullins is the co-founder of the Mississippi Teacher Corps at the University of Mississippi and a longtime and influential advocate for public education. Mullins retired from UM as chief of staff to the chancellor in 2013 and has served as the special assistant to two Mississippi governors, including William Winter; three state superintendents of education and three Ole Miss chancellors. He was a key figure in UM hosting the first presidential debate of the 2008 election between then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama and U.S. Senator John McCain. Under his leadership, the Mississippi Teacher Corps has trained more than 600 new educators for critical needs schools throughout the state.

It is universally agreed among those who know anything about Mississippi that inadequate education is a burden and continues to haunt this state and its citizenry. Multiple initiatives are underway across the state to enhance educational opportunities and improve the experiences students have in the systems that exist. Second Chance Mississippi addresses a group of people who failed to succeed in the educational system as a result of circumstances that may or may not have been within their control. A dedicated person who avails himself or herself of the opportunity that Second Chance Mississippi will present will open doors that will lead to better lives and a better state."

Dr. Robert C. Khayat

Former Chancellor at the University of Mississippi

Dr. Khayat is a former college football All-Star, All-Pro kicker for the Washington Redskins, law professor, and president of the NCAA Foundation.  He holds degrees from the University of Mississippi and Yale.  Dr. Khayat served as the fifteenth chancellor of the University of Mississippi from 1995 until his retirement in 2009.  Dr. Khayat’s memoir, The Education of a Lifetime, was published in 2013.  The law school at the University of Mississippi is named in his honor.

I believe there is nothing more important than helping others who need and deserve a second chance in life. I am glad to join my good friend Dick Scruggs and Mississippi's Community Colleges in providing this important next step in life to those who for whatever reason missed it the first time around. The results of this positive program will be immediately felt by the individual and will have a long-term beneficial impact on our State of Mississippi. It's inspiring to see such a positive effort by Dick and his team, I encourage everyone to join with us!"

Mike Moore

Former Attorney General of the State of Mississippi • Founding Partner of Mike Moore Law Firm

Moore graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1979.  After serving as District Attorney for Pascagoula, MS, he served as Attorney General for the state of Mississippi from 1988 to 2004.  In 1994 he filed the first lawsuit against thirteen tobacco companies acting as lead negotiator.  In 1997 he was awarded “Lawyer of the Year” by the National Law Journal. He serves as Chairman of the Board for the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi and sits on the Board of Directors for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

God has truly blessed us with the opportunity of helping others help themselves through our GED program. Working in collaboration with Second Chance Mississippi has given us the tools and resources needed we otherwise would not have."

The Rev. Christopher C. Diggs

United Methodist Minister

Rev. Diggs is serving as Senior Pastor of Burns United Methodist Church in Oxford, MS where GED instruction is part of its ministry.  He holds degrees from the University of Mississippi and Gammon Theological Seminary.  Previously, Rev. Diggs lead congregations in Indianola, MS, Henderson, NC, Bullock, NC and Nettleton, MS.  In 2006 he lead a fact finding mission trip to Africa visiting the countries of Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.  

The challenge of supporting and sustaining a family on extremely limited or non-existent resources is very real for many people in Mississippi. The adult learning services supported by "Second Chance Mississippi" offer both opportunity and hope for individuals to complete a high school equivalency degree and move beyond the struggles of poverty."

Tom Burnham

Interim Director of Principal Corps

Tom Burnham currently serves as Interim Director of Principal Corps at the University of Mississippi.  Prior to assuming this role, he served twice as State Superintendent of Education and as dean of the School of Education at the University of Mississippi.  He has also served as superintendent of schools in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Henderson County, North Carolina.