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Sharde McClure founded MS Delta Resources in 2020 after recognizing that residents in the Delta struggled to find the medical, occupational and other resources they can use to become self-sustainable. Photo courtesy Sharde McClure

Person of the Day | Sharde McClure: Connecting People with Resources in the Mississippi Delta

In 2015, Sharde McClure dropped her three children at her mother’s house and drove the short distance to the Delta Foundation building in Greenville, Miss. The single mother had signed up for the small business course Guaranty Bank and Trust organized. When she walked into the class, the number of people in the room surprised her. More than 50 people from across the Delta had gathered to learn more about entrepreneurship. McClure found a seat, organized her materials and began listening to the instructor.

Six weeks later, McClure had finished the course and had a business plan in hand. She took it to Grace Outreach Bible Church across from her home and asked pastor Rueben Lewis to pray over it. Lewis instructed McClure to look up Tasha Bailey and Horacia Burks for help. Using the address the pastor had given her, McClure arrived at Bailey’s home, explaining that Lewis had sent her. Bailey immediately welcomed her in, and McClure began volunteering for Bailey’s nonprofit, Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition, soon earning a position there.

“And that’s how I got into nonprofits,” McClure told the Mississippi Free Press.

McClure has now worked in nonprofit organizations for more than seven years. She has worked with the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition and the Food Corps, and she currently serves as the mentorship coordinator for Promise Christian Academy. In 2020, McClure founded MS Delta Resources, an organization that educates residents on available community resources. She posts weekly newsletters on its Facebook page with contact information for groups relating to various types of assistance such as education, housing, scholarships, mental health and homelessness. McClure also reposts any information she receives that could benefit residents.

“It’s bad when you need something but do not know how to get there,” McClure said. “Sometimes people need the layout of how to achieve their goals. It can be a difficult task when you are faced with a problem and you feel like you don’t have a solution but a solution is present.”

McClure has been working with nonprofit organizations for seven years. She has worked with the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition and the Food Corps, and she currently serves as the mentorship coordinator for Promise Christian Academy. Photo courtesy Sharde McClure

The Greenville, Miss., native began gathering information on local organizations and programs when she struggled to find finances to finish her education. In the last semester of her associate degree program, she found that her financial aid award was less than what she needed to cover her education.

Mississippi Delta Community College’s financial aid office recommended she reach out to the school’s foundation to cover the deficit. The foundation assists students who are experiencing financial hardships. McClure completed the application but was denied. Her supervisor at the Mississippi Tobacco Alliance suggested that she request a meeting with the foundation leaders. McClure did, and they awarded her the required funding that allowed her to complete her degree.

McClure found herself again needing assistance to finish her bachelor’s degree at Delta State University. She suffered academically while trying to manage a new job, three daughters and college. The university revoked her financial aid after placing her on academic probation, leaving her without the funds to cover her tuition. She learned about Delta Dollars, a partnership with Statewide Federal Credit Union. The program matches a student’s savings and sends the funds to their school’s business office at the end of the allotted term. She also took advantage of a similar program with the Delta Health Alliance. Between the two programs, she was able to earn her bachelor’s.

“My life has not been a traditional situation,” McClure said. “That just has always been a part of my situation. I would have to find a workaround. I would have to find resources. People would always call me to find resources.”

The Mississippi Delta once thrived on slavery and sharecropping concentrating the area’s wealth in the hands of the minority-white population. Now the region lacks socioeconomic resources, affordable housing, adequate health care and quality public schools. Horacia Burks, owner of Promise Christian Academy, understands the need for MS Delta Resources and the effects that McClure’s work is having on the area.

“Living in the Delta, it is hard to find resources or just people in general,” Burks told the Mississippi Free Press. “Sharde is very passionate about helping people by linking them to resources—pointing people to where they can get some help. People know Sharde is the person to contact to help them if they have a question about education (or) things in general that people need.”

“One (problem) is access to resources,” McClure said. “There’s always a gap, and this is from my personal experience, between knowing what you want to do and actually being able to do so. Equity is an issue here (in the Delta). My goal is to bridge those gaps.”

McClure wants to expand her presence as a leader in the community. Community Leadership Network selected her as a member of its third fellowship class in July 2023.

“I am someone who likes to sharpen my knowledge and language, the language in programs always changes. And so I’m always trying to keep up with the information.” McClure said. “In a sense, I wanted to be better developed in the area of community.”

Burks does not doubt that McClure’s influence will be felt in the community.

“She has such a supportive personality,” Burks said. “Anything that she’s passionate about or if she feels like it’s something that God wants her to do, Sharde will go all in.”

Learn more about MS Delta Resources at

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