Friday, January 21, 2022

Secretary Watson Presents John Lewis Youth Leadership Award

JACKSON – Secretary Michael Watson presented Greene County native Tyler Packer the National Association of Secretaries of State’s (NASS) John Lewis Youth Leadership Award during a special ceremony in the Capitol Wednesday. This award was created in 2021 as a way for NASS members to recognize a gifted, civic-minded young person in their state each year. Mississippi State University (MSU) Vice President for Student Affairs, Regina Hyatt, nominated Packer for his outstanding leadership and mentorship while serving as MSU's student body president.

"It is my honor to recognize Tyler Packer as Mississippi's first recipient of the John Lewis Youth Leadership Award," said Secretary Watson. "Tyler’s resume matches his bright mind and warm spirit, and I’ve not a single doubt he will make a positive difference with his life. I am extremely proud for Mississippi to be represented by such a leader who embodies the best of all of us."

Secretary Watson awarding the NASS award 
Tyler Packer shakes hands with Secretary Watson as he receives the John Lewis Youth Leadership Award in the Secretary of State's Capitol office. 

During his tenure, Packer overcame leadership obstacles presented by the ongoing pandemic and heightened racial tensions in America. He prioritized positivity and progress while advocating for better representation of minority students in university leadership and organizations. His vision extended beyond campus, as he led initiatives to increase voter registration during the 2020 elections. 

“This award is incredibly important to me," said Packer. "There are a great deal of African American student leaders across the state of Mississippi who have incredible resumes and have done incredible things. To think that I, among them, was picked for this award is an incredible honor.” 

 John Lewis award winner
Tyler Packer poses with the John Lewis Youth Leadership Award during a special ceremony in the Secretary of State's Capitol office.

Packer graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science/pre-law from MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences in April of 2021. He's currently attending graduate school at George Washington University in D.C. 

Click here to learn more about the NASS 
John Lewis Youth Leadership Award.