Why one Corinth native’s dreams are rooted in returning home to serve her community

By Colleen Stimola
Originally published by Oxford Stories

Many believe one should pack their bags and explore the world after college. However, Marlee Sue Bradley, who was born and raised in small-town Corinth, Mississippi, wants to stay rooted.

Bradley grew up in a single-family home with extended family on both sides living within five minutes of her mom. They all attend the same church. They’re all products of Kossuth public schools. Bradley was the first in her family to attend college and the first to attend a four-year university.

In 2014, Bradley began her freshman year at Ole Miss as an education major. From the beginning, she stayed focused on her love for Corinth and chose a career that will enable her to return after graduation.

“I have lived my entire life in Corinth and plan to raise my family there one day,” she said. “I had a great childhood, and loved being around my grandparents weekly, and want the same for my future children. Education allows me to work back at home since the schools are always needing teachers.”

Corinth was a dry county until December of 2012. Bradley said her parents never touched alcohol aside from the occasional shot of Jim Beam mixed with lemon and peppermint to ease a cold.

College was an eye-opening experience for Bradley, as weekends in the SEC are often filled with fraternity parties, intense game-day tailgating and football.

Bradley, however, likes to spend her weekends back home in Corinth with her mom, dad and little brother, Stone. Stone often has baseball games the entire family attends, or they might spend a day shopping in nearby Collierville, Tennessee.

Bradley’s mom, Christie Bradley said it’s nice having her daughter home on weekends.

“It was challenging for the entire family to adjust when she left for college, since she is the oldest and the first one to go farther away for her education,” she said. “Having her home is just so normal for us.”

After Bradley graduates in May 2018, she plans to return to Corinth to find a job.

“Corinth is my home, and I definitely want to teach in the Alcorn County schools,” she said. “Hopefully, I will eventually be able to return to my high school.”

As a former Kossuth basketball player, Bradley plans to become active in the Kossuth school community as an employee, just like she once was as a student.

“Corinth is ready to get Marlee Sue back in town full time,” Christie Bradley said. “The entire community knows that graduation is creeping up, and we all are excited for her to move back and start the next chapter of her life where she belongs, here at home.”

Corinth is part of Bradley, and she cannot picture her life any other place. Mississippi is her home. It is a place she can return to and pick up where she left off.

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