Terrell Patrick spends most of his time helping young people as a case officer with the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office, but this week, he has a new title.
Patrick, who received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in public administration from Troy University, is serving as King Elexis I in Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebrations.
The Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association bestowed him with the title due in part to his extensive work in the community.
As a child, Patrick’s grandmother filled him in on the history and importance of Mardi Gras to Mobilians
“She taught us the ropes of Mardi Gras here in Mobile,” said Patrick, a Mobile native. “Once I got of age, I was able to serve on the royal court as a knight in 2016. I knew then that it was a goal for me to be king one day.”
With a platform focusing on at-risk youth, Patrick became involved in various nonprofit agencies and mentored kids he encountered through the juvenile court.
After an interview process, the association called Patrick after his most recent graduation last May.
“That was the biggest graduation gift for me,” he said. “I had to keep it a secret until it was announced a few weeks ago. It means a lot to me because not only am I representing myself, I’m also representing my family, my community, my employer, my coworkers. I’m representing all Mobilians.”
Mardi Gras is particularly special to those with deep ties in the Mobile area.
“Everyone in Mobile, we look forward to Mardi Gras. After Christmas, it’s about finding out who are the king and queen,” Patrick said. “To me, It is the highest social honor in Mobile.”
The TROY ties don’t end with Patrick, either, as he said his first knight, Jamal Banks, is a TROY alum.
“I love TROY,” Patrick said. “I used to work as a graduate assistant in the Office of Development. I know I need to give back to my university, and I strive to do that.”
This weekend kicks off a whirlwind of activity for Patrick, whose duties as king involve numerous galas, Mardi Gras balls and, finally, a five-mile parade on Tuesday, March 5.
While he’s focused on his duties, he’s also thinking of those Mardi Gras memories he shared with his grandmother, who is his biggest fan as king.
“She’s so proud,” he said. “Me and my grandmother, we created a crest once I was named king as part of my royal regalia. We made our family crest. I’m going to honor her throughout my reign to show my love for her and how much she means to me.”