Jackie Simien grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but spent part of many childhood summers in Beaumont. She attended Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge on a full academic scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications with minors in English and history in 1993.
Following her college graduation, Jackie interned at WFTV Channel 9, the ABC affiliate in Orlando, Florida. The internship was the result of a National Association of Black Journalists competition Jackie won in her senior year at LSU. She began her professional career in her hometown at the NBC affiliate, KPLC-TV, as a reporter and host of a monthly public affairs program.
Jackie has been working as a journalist in Southeast Texas since 1994. Her achievements include a first place Press Club Award for "A Burglar's Trade Secrets," a series in which she spoke with burglars about how they commit their crimes and offered information to viewers on how to avoid becoming a victim; interviews with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle, as well as entertainers Merv Griffin, Burt Reynolds and Beyonce'. She is especially proud of a three part series on the missionary work of the Haiti Support Group of Southeast Texas that took her to the Third World nation of Haiti. Jackie often tells people her most prized souvenir from that seven day trip was a "new pair of eyes" --she returned home with a new perspective on everything.
Jackie's mother grew up in rural Louisiana, did not learn to speak English until she was six and never attended school a day in her life. Because of this, Jackie rarely passes on the opportunity to speak to young people about where a good education can take you. She has spent more than a decade volunteering as a mentor and serving on boards that make helping the youth of Southeast Texas a priority. She and her husband are parents of one daughter.
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