Mrs. Emleigh Mitchell

Emleigh is the daughter of Marilyn E. Smith, a now retired school teacher of 31 years from the Harrison County School District in Mississippi. Her hometown, Bay Saint Louis, which is affectionately known as “The Bay,” is located along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She is a 1996 graduate of Our Lady Academy. During her high school years, she and her peers created and executed a social action group named Minorities Take Action. This youth-led group was known for traveling along the Mississippi Gulf Coast educating communities about Kwanzaa, cultural awareness, and self-pride. Growing up in Bay Saint Louis, Emleigh learned to be a champion for her community. She understood that community service is fundamental and is grounded in the importance of giving back to those most vulnerable.

It was her senior year in high school when Emleigh made the intentional decision to attend Tougaloo College. Her English teacher issued an assignment to research an influential person. Emleigh chose Alice Walker because she had written the book, “The Color Purple,” the same title as of one of her favorite movies. During her research, she found out that Alice Walker had taught Black Studies for a short time at Tougaloo College. Even though Emleigh is from Mississippi, she had never heard of Tougaloo College. An interest was awakened and her mother planned a campus tour. Upon entering the hallowed campus gates of Tougaloo College, Emleigh immediately knew that this rich historically black institution would be her school of choice. She graduated high school in 1996 and was a recipient of numerous scholarships of which one was from the Tougaloo College Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumni Chapter when Laura Cappie was the chapter’s president. Emleigh is a proud 2000 graduate of Tougaloo.

Being at Tougaloo awakened her purpose and put her in contact with leaders at every level and in every discipline, exposing her to what true success was and not what it looked like. While at Tougaloo, Emleigh was named Who’s Who among American Colleges and Universities, inducted into the Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) International Sociology Honor Society. In the fall of 1997, she became a member of the distinguished and leading sorority of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Gamma Psi Chapter. Through her chapter’s engagement, she was involved with many community service events and activities.
Emleigh received her Master’s degree in May of 2005 from what was formerly called the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Houston. It is now named the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. While at the Graduate College of Social Work, she was accepted as a CWEP (Child Welfare Education Program) student. The CWEP program was specifically designed to prepare master’s level social work students for the challenging and rewarding work found in children’s protective services.

Emleigh received her Master’s degree in May of 2005 from what was formerly called the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Houston. It is now named the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. While at the Graduate College of Social Work, she was accepted as a CWEP (Child Welfare Education Program) student. The CWEP program was specifically designed to prepare master’s level social work students for the challenging and rewarding work found in children’s protective services.

Her most memorable moment while with the Houston Area Alumni Chapter is when she was the recipient of the devoted service of its members during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. She is forever grateful to God for the support of both the Houston and Dallas chapters for helping her and her family transition through that most difficult situation. She is actively involved with her faith-based community of Willing Workers Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor James Cleveland Carrington, Jr.

Emleigh was raised with her siblings Galen Smith, Sr. and Holeigh Hawkins. She is blessed with additional siblings Shakira Ellis, Shante Richardson, and Shavon Jacobs. She is married to Lemond Mitchell, a 2003 Tougaloo College graduate. They are the proud parents of one beautiful, talented and intelligent daughter, Ryleigh Chiara Mitchell. They currently reside in Houston, Texas.