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Know your neighbor: Thaun Jett

A New Orleans native found sanctuary in Brookhaven after Hurricane Katrina forced her from of her home.

Thaun Jett was born and raised in the Big Easy, but moved with her family to Lincoln County in 2005 after the hurricane’s storm surge caused breaches in the drainage canal and navigational canal levees and floodwalls, leaving 80 percent of the city flooded.

Jett is a single mother to five children — Alex, 19, Jerome, 17, Amiani, 16, Donovan, 14, and Caleb, 13.

“Brookhaven felt safe and a better place to raise my children,” she said. “Ultimately, it was the best thing to happen to us.”

Though she lives in Brookhaven, she still goes back to her hometown each year for Mardi Gras. It’s a tradition to give them a little piece of home and to “reset our perspectives and attitudes,” she said.

Jett works at the Mississippi Department of Human Services, where she’s been for 12 years. It’s a good job, she said, because of the benefits offered by the state. Work is consistent and she hopes to retire with a good pension some day.

She has many good qualities, but the mom believes her best is her big heart because it gives her the ability to love big, too.

She always tries to stay upbeat and face the world with a positive mindset. She makes it a point to encourage others around her on a daily basis.

“I just don’t like negativity,” she said. “I feel like a good and happy attitude can change the entire day.”

When it comes to brightening her own day, she heads to the garden. It’s her happy place, especially when her children are with her.

The other place that makes her happy requires lots of napkins because everything is “finger licking good” there. Jett loves KFC chicken, grilled or fried.

 

Story by Sarah Elizabeth Balkcom