As children, especially those who were raised in religious homes, Sunday school taught stories of Biblical heroines such as Esther, a young girl crowned queen in her youth who rescued her people, the Jews, from a brutal genocide planned and signed into law by her husband, King Ahasuerus (Xerses).
Esther did not know that one day she would be queen, let alone know that she would have to preside and persuade the people who had cast her family into exile to spare her race from a massive killing. One can even assume, before becoming queen, Esther hated the place she lived and awaited the day that God would move her somewhere else--sharing a characteristic of many native Memphians.
Memphis. A seemingly unpopular place to live that wrestles against crime, poverty and for many, a lack of opportunities. Such hindrances have been the bane of the city’s existence, especially during a period where recruiting young talent into Memphis is a tedious feat.
In 2013, the Memphis Business Journal noted that Memphis is not a strong competitor when it comes to recruiting new talent against cities such as Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte. Some Memphians cannot go a full day without hearing another Memphian grumbling their loathe for living in the Bluff City, and how they are looking, hoping, wishing and/or praying to move.
Such attitudes have influenced strategic organizations to strengthen their recruiting efforts to attract new talent to the city. The New Memphis Institute and the social media recruitment campaign, Choose 901, have been strong influences throughout the city, partnering with government officials, professionals and entrepreneurs in organizing to increase attracting and retaining new talent in Memphis.
However, the talent born and bred in Memphis should not go unnoticed.
London Lamar, 23, left Memphis for Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., after graduating from Central High School in 2009. After graduating from college with internships from Washington, D.C., to New York under her belt, she did not intend to return to Memphis.