Shoals pastor aims to inspire minority students with virtual “welcome back to school” message

Back to School 2020
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FLORENCE, Ala. — A Shoals pastor is making it his mission to inspire students for the new school year with a focus on minority students.

Pastor Wesley Thompson said in 2019, he and about fifty other African American men dressed in suits and greeted students at various schools as they walked in on their first day back.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thompson had to take a virtual approach this year, but he said that isn’t hindering the message.

“Just allowing them to recognize that, hey, there’s somebody who looks like me, somebody who grew up from the side of the tracks that I grew up on, and they are successful, that they made something of themselves and now they are here telling me that I too can be just like them, in fact, that I too can go further, even beyond them,” Pastor Thompson said. He added that students can see them and find comfort in knowing they have an advocate in them for help along the way.

Pastor Thompson said since this year’s event was virtual, it allows the message to be spread to a much wider audience.

To see this year’s virtual welcome, click here.

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