• 54°

Texans staffer, Vicksburg native Parson speaks at Hinds

Work is the answer to following dreams and seeing them come true, a Vicksburg native and equipment manager for a professional football team told Hinds Community College students Thursday.

Michael Parson, a graduate of Warren Central High School and the director of equipment services for the NFL’s Houston Texans, spoke to about 150 Hinds students, faculty and staff at the school’s spring convocation on the Vicksburg campus.

“Nobody in this room gets to be a victim because life is not fair, but each of us can level the playing field if we work hard and continue to be noticed for the good things we do,” Parson said.

The 39-year-old is in his fourth year in charge of the Texans’ equipment department, and his 11th overall with the team. He moved to Houston after working for the New Orleans Saints, the University of New Orleans and Mississippi State University.

Parson worked as a football team manager for Mississippi State while enrolled there to receive his bachelor’s degree in education. He also had worked as a football team manager at Warren Central.

While in high school, Parson also worked for about three years as a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post.

“I tell people I work with every day, ‘Either you’re dependable or you’re expendable,’” Parson said. “And while we have to keep our heads down and keep moving forward, we can’t forget to respect the people around us. I treat the janitor in my building the same as I do the multibillionaire owner of the franchise.”

Parson encouraged students to make their choices, fight for what they want, seek help along the way and remember to thank those who helped them reach their goals.

He told students that he is an example of a person who came from a public housing project and followed his dreams, working hard along the way to become the equipment director for one of 32 NFL franchises.

Parson also is one of only two African-American equipment directors currently in the NFL, and one of only three in the league’s history, he said.

During the convocation service, students also received information about various services at the college, including financial aid and business office services.

Dr. Elmira Ratliff, the post secondary dean for the campus, also introduced Dr. Sarah Nichols, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society adviser, who will be honored this year for her role as adviser for the campus chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for community colleges nationwide.