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Governor, First Lady visit The Star Center

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and First Lady Maria Lee were in Jackson Monday morning, visiting The Star Center and getting a look at its facilities and services.

The visit was part of a tour the couple are taking across the state in which they get a look at various non-profit organizations that help others in connection with Maria Lee’s “Tennessee Serves” initiative.

“Seeing the work that’s done here every day shows the work that’s needed across the state and the work that’s being done by Tennesseans,” said Gov. Lee.

The Lees took the tour with Star Center director Jennifer Graves and members of her leadership team.

They toured various rooms that each have unique equipment for specific purposes.

Sensory rooms, music therapy rooms, computer/technology training rooms and others were stops on the tour.

It was in the technology room in which the Lees interacted with a couple of The Star Center’s clients.

They heard their stories and their goals for coming to the Center.

One of them hopes to eventually become a teacher who can support students with similar challenges to hers because she has supportive parents who’ve helped her get as far as she has, and she’d like to have that kind of impact on others.

“You can be that person that might need it but don’t have parents like yours,” Maria Lee said to the client during the conversation. “We need more people like you because everyone needs support, but not everyone gets the support they need.”

They had similar reactions with clients in different rooms and got to hear a performance from a group of students in the musical therapy room.

According to Graves, this was the first time in The Star Center’s 35-year history that a sitting Governor had visited their facility.

“We thank you so much for taking the time to come and get a look at what we do,” Graves said to the Lees and their entourage Monday morning. “We’re proud of the work we do here and the strides our clients make.”

It was about 90 minutes later when they’d completed their tour that Maria Lee said they should be proud of what they do.

“So much good is being done here because of the work and effort of so many, whether it’s through work or volunteer hours or financial contributions,” Maria Lee said. “This is what ‘Tennessee Serves’ is really all about.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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