by Christopher E. Rash
Unlike being in an environment where the status quo is encouraged and a precedent exists, DeAngelo Riddle finds himself in a pioneering role as the first Mr. Jackson State University.
So, his plan is to simply stay true to himself as “the people’s choice,” he said.
“I was encouraged by my peers to run for this position despite not being the stereotypical king,” Riddle says. “You don’t have to be this good-looking guy with tailored suits. Many people will like you for you.”
The determination that Riddle possesses has allowed him to overcome numerous challenges he’s faced in life. Today, he has been able to triumph academically and socially.
Riddle, a Jackson, Mississippi, native, knows the importance of having positive male role models. The loss of his father to gun violence left him without the influential male figure that he needed. This reality has been the foundation for his platform and his desired legacy as Mr. JSU.
“I want to see us as males lifting one another instead of pulling one another down,” Riddle said. “This is the reason I created my mentorship program, Boys to Men, because it’s never too late to help someone.”
A fiery spirit drives the passionate senior toward achieving his professional goals of becoming an electrical engineer for NASA. Riddle said he believes in speaking things into existence that have not yet materialized.
“Life has taught me how to be humble,” he said. “There is a clear difference between being confident and prideful and, thankfully, I have learned that balance.”