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Jackson State University
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Challenging Minds, Changing Lives
Challenging Minds, Changing Lives

380 followers
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"My parents separated when I was in kindergarten, and subsequently divorced. So, when I was 10-years-old, my mom came to me and said, ‘You are the man of the house now.'

I remember at 10-years-old, starting to run errands for the elderly folks who couldn’t make it to the grocery store.  Then at 11-years-old, the neighbor let me borrow their lawn mower so I could begin cutting lawns. Then at age 13, I got a job. So, I didn’t have a normal childhood because I was expected to be the responsible young person in the house. And I’ve pretty much been that ever since.That’s why I don’t flinch when trouble arises or when there is an issue or concern. I don’t even know if my blood pressure goes up because I’m so used to dealing with different things and trying to create win-win situations for folks.

But there is one thing that I wish I could do over.  Because of the sense of responsibility that I had growing up, that’s how I raised my kids. I tried to teach them responsibility, but I wasn’t as fun as I wish I would have been. I always set a great example for them. I always provided for them. But I didn't talk to them as much as I wish I had talked to them. Don’t get me wrong; we don’t have any problems. They feel good about the example I set and the provider I was. But again, I was in that mode of - you've got to be responsible. You've got to be the person whose character is unquestionable; you've got to be the stand-up person. Going back, I wish I had balanced that a little bit more. So, I may not have been the fun dad, but now I’m the fun granddad."

- Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., a higher education professional with more than 27 years of experience, is the 11th President of Jackson State University
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#PeopleofJSU - “I tell my friends that coming to America was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am one of the very few fortunate people from Gambia that got an opportunity to come to the United States. Where I’m from, it’s extremely difficult for people to get Visas to come to the U.S. One reason is because most people in the country are in poverty and most of the students need funding to be able to come to the United States to pursue their dreams.

I’m fortunate because of the help of my dad. He financed my private school education from daycare to high school, and he paid for my travel expenses and stuff. When my older sisters and I finished high school, he took us to the Embassy to get our Visas. He was my mentor. He meant everything to me. So, when he passed away in 2015, I reached my breaking point. I was like, that’s it for me.

We Facetimed each other a few hours before he passed away. He wasn't sick or anything like that, so his death was shocking. But, before he passed away, he would always tell me, 'It doesn’t matter how long I live. The most important thing is how I live. So, if I have to go today, keep praying and just know that in whatever kind of condition you find yourself, just have faith, keep pushing, and follow your dreams.'

Those words really meant a lot to me. Those words are the reason why I’m still here. Thank God, I’m here. Everything that I am today is because of my dad. He did everything for us. When he passed away, I became extra motivated to get my degree, get a good job, and provide for my mom. I hope that he’ll be proud of me some day."

- Sheikh, senior computer engineering major from Gambia

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#PeopleofJSU - "I came to the United States five years ago for better opportunities. I was a little nervous about coming because I had a fear of flying. But, I'm not afraid anymore. I haven’t been back home to Greece since I moved here. But, I have a brother in the Jackson area, and my family comes to visit sometimes. Actually, my dad is coming to visit in a few days.

I chose accounting because I always liked math and would use it to help with my dad's store back home. I'd make sure that people didn't overcharge him and make sure that they paid him the right amount. I heard that JSU was a top school for accounting, so, that made me decide to transfer here. And, it’s been a good experience so far. I love that they bring companies that you can talk to about getting an internship or a job. That’s a plus. They don’t do that in Greece.

I'm supposed to graduate in April. After I graduate, I want to get a job and some money, so I can get my master's and become a CPA. I'll probably work at a CPA firm, first, to get some experience and see how they work. After I become a CPA, I’d stay with the company a little longer before I go open my own."

- Gkertian, senior accounting major from Greece
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#PeopleofJSU - “I started playing baseball when I was about three years old. I was an outfielder. My last batting average was around .320. But, I’m not playing right now because I ripped my shoulder up. And, the messed up part is that it actually happened during my tryout here. It was the last day, the last step to me getting on the baseball team and I ripped my shoulder up, on a throw.

But, it's ok because I’m here on an academic scholarship. My major is computer engineering and my minor is graphic design. So, it’s always been baseball or art for me. I consider computer engineering art because of the path I’m taking with it. Ultimately , I want to do entertainment. So, I’m working on my music on the side. I do rap/hip hop.

And, Jackson State is my backbone, my fundamental. So whatever path I decide to take, if any of it fails, I’ll have this computer engineering degree to keep me above water. I'm glad to just be here, in a different place from where I’m from, and being able to share my talents and meet a bunch of talented people.”

- Kenny, sophomore computer engineering major from Atlanta.
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#PeopleofJSU - "I’m too skinny. That’s my insecurity. I feel like, I’m grown, so I need to catch up on weight. I don’t like showing my legs. There are certain clothing items I won’t put on because I don’t want to look too skinny. I never wear shorts because I feel like my legs are too skinny.

But, as I grow older it probably won’t bother me as much. I actually really shouldn’t have an issue now, because me and my mom wear the same size. Like, we literally share cloths. So, I think its just my something I have to accept, but I just don’t want to. And, I was trying to gain weight this simmer. I was working out for three weeks. I was drinking those shakes, but I just couldn’t force myself to do that everyday.

But, its not stressing me out or anything like that. I don't feel like I’m anorexic. I just feel like I need to gain some weight. But, my mom instilled in me to love myself. If you don’t love yourself or like yourself, you can’t really ask the next person to respect you or like you. You only get one life and one body. And, if there is something about you that you can’t change, then you just have to embrace it."

- Glynnis, junior mass communications major from Little rock, Arkansas.
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#JSUArts - Everybody, check out our latest JSU Arts video featuring poet and elementary education major Diamond Dortch. What do you think about this poem? #TheeILove

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#PeopleofJSU - "I had no male role models growing up. The only guidance I had was my mom and my sister. My father was deceased. I used to reach out to older men that I knew to help me and show me how to be a man. But, every time I reached out, nobody would come.


And, in the environment that I grew up in, a lot of my friends ended up doing drugs or dropping out of school. I remember these two boys, who were twins, who were my close friends. We went to French Elementary School. We did everything together.

Then, they started doing marijuana and breaking into people’s houses. Now, one of them is dead, and the other is in jail. I feel like if they would have had proper guidance, then things would have been different.

But when I made it to the ninth grade, I got involved with an organization called Kappa League. And, I met a bunch of black males, who molded us and showed us how to be men. They introduced us to life. They took us on college tours. They helped us perfect our reading. They showed us how to dress, how to treat a lady, how to open the door for her and how to pull out her chair. I remember how Mr. Barry Dixon taught me how to mow a yard. I didn’t know how to do that. So, I was in the 9th grade by the time I really learned the qualities of being a man.

And, I don’t fault my mom. My mom did her best. In fact, she did a great job. I dedicate everything to my mom and my sister. They always boosted me up. They always pushed me. I really want them to know that. Sometimes, they may think they go unnoticed. So, I want to give a shoutout to my mom, Constance Riddle, and my sister, Tamara Davis."

- De'Angelo, senior electrical engineering major from Jackson, MS. De'Angelo was elected to serve as the first ever Mister JSU.
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#JSUNews - Jackson State University’s Master of Science in Reading Education program was recently ranked No. 14 out of the 50 top online masters reading literacy degree programs in the United States, according to AffordableColleges.com.

The value score provided by AffordableColleges.com weighs criteria, such as loan default rates, graduation rates, and financial aid data, to draw a distinction between the programs that appear inexpensive up-front and those that will pay off in the long run. When calculating the rankings, they use the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

http://fal.cn/t1sn

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#PeopleofJSU - "Initially, I was considering coming to Jackson State because of my scholarship offer. But, what really made me want to attend was my visit during one of JSU's recruitment events. I loved it. I really liked the vibe that I got, walking around. During the weekend that I visited JSU, I visited another school, too. And, when we would speak to people, they didn't speak back to us. But, here, before we could even speak to someone, they were speaking to us. That really made me feel at home and feel comfortable leaving home, because I had never been far away from my parents.

Coming from where I'm from, I cherish the opportunity to further my education. And, I’m going to do what I have to do now, so that I can do what I want to do later."

- Tasia, senior chemistry major with a concentration in forensics from Memphis, Tenneseee
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#PeopleofJSU - "You never know what background somebody comes from or what obstacles they may have encountered and what they’re struggling with. As a writer, one of the most memorable stories I’ve told is the story of Augustine Emuwa. He went to college with me. And, I got to tell his story earlier this year. It was in the Jacksonian magazine. And, it resonated with me, because I found out through telling his story that he had been homeless, and he had a mother that suffered from mental illness, and that he came to Jackson State with only $15 in his pocket, and that his father committed suicide when he was a teenager. Like, he had gone through all of these traumatic things. And yet, he is so successful now. He’s so intelligent and articulate. He’s just a forward thinker. And, to know him and to talk to him, you would never know that he experienced any of those things. So it was really profound to me, and it really spoke to me about the resilience of people.


That’s one of the things that I like about writing. A lot of the people that I write about - they could be entrepreneurs, business owners, artists - would come up to me later and tell me that my story generated some clientele for them. Or, because of my story they have a bunch of people reaching out to them trying to help them with whatever they have going on. So, it kind of keeps that helping hand going. I lend a hand by telling their story, and from there, other people in the community lend their hands and reach back. So it's like you're part of this chain of fellowship and giving."

- Rachel, two-time JSU alumna from Grand Rapids, MI. Rachel is currently the creative writer/editor in the JSU Office of Communications and Marketing.
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