Name: Kerri Courtney Sanders
Occupation: TV Host, Mississippi Public Broadcasting
From operating a Mississippi Power bucket truck to driving a forklift at Taylor Machine Works, actress Kerri Courtney Sanders knows a thing or two about Mississippi’s many job opportunities.
The Richland native says she was hired as the host of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s workforce development program “Job Hunter” after the show found out she was an actress that knew how to use power tools.
“I never knew there were so many wonderful, growing industries in my home state,” Sanders says. The show is funded in part by the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and travels around the Magnolia State highlighting high-skills (and high-paying) jobs from health care to information technology.
“My passion is to inspire and inform others through the arts of film and theatre,” Sanders says. “I enjoy knowing that part of the target audience is high school students. I have such an incredible opportunity to use my passion for performance and my love for Mississippi to help kids find their passion.”
Sanders earned a bachelor of arts in theater from Belhaven University and has since taught theater, modeled and starred in several local commercials.
Acting began early for Sanders after her reenactment of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story became a favorite at family holiday gatherings. She says some of her best training since childhood has been from New Stage Theatre in Jackson where she continues to act, volunteer and teach a youth troupe.
Sanders and her husband Michael live in Brandon where she enjoys horseback riding and “being a country girl.”
Best thing about Mississippi: “It helps that we have more warm months than cold.”
Best Mississippi event: Celtic Fest, Fondren’s Arts Eats and Beats and New Stage Theater’s annual benefit performance.
Favorite Mississippi food: Pizza, ice cream and cocktails at Sal & Mookies in Jackson.
Favorite hangout spots: Cups in Fondren. “It’s the best place to memorize lines.”
Favorite TV Show: “Friends”
Favorite Movie: “Anything” with Meryl Streep
Heroes or mentors: Fellow MPB host Walt Grayson and my professors in college, Dr. Lou Campbell, Kris Dietrich, and Joe Frost