MISS JSU: NAYSA LYNCH
Hometown: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Major: Business Marketing
Favorite color: Aqua
Favorite food: Fungi and Conch
In my free time: I like to travel, try new foods and play the piano.
Why did you want to be Miss JSU?
I wanted to be Miss Jackson State University because I fell in love with this environment, the campus, the faculty, the staff and the students. They made being so far away from home easy. The transition from high school to college was easy because of this environment. I then learned about the history of this institution. Every year, I fell more in love with my school. Representing JSU was giving back to a school that gave so much and poured so much in to me.
What has been one of your proudest moments as Miss JSU?
Besides the community service, honestly, doing the Ebony HBCU King and Queen competition. I tried to find something more meaningful, but just seeing how broad the competition reached. When I went home, people were like, ‘I saw you on Facebook. I voted for you.’ Or here in the community, it was the same thing. It was the fact that they were supporting me. All types of people were supporting me. That really means everything to me, having that support.
What is an obstacle you had to overcome as Miss JSU?
During homecoming, coronation was beautiful, but that Tuesday I received the news that my dad fell ill on his way home to St. Thomas. On the last flight from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas he fell ill and they had to rush him to the hospital in Puerto Rico. He was there alone so that was scary. I was on my way to one of our homecoming events, Street Jam, when I got the information. It was hard to still go, but I still went. That Thursday I got into a car accident and I totaled my car. I was in pain for the duration of homecoming. But I had to overcome those obstacles because homecoming was going to still happen. I couldn’t just cancel my appearances. I was in pain at the homecoming game but I was able to persist and be as resilient as possible.
What do you want people to remember about your leadership?
I want people to remember that I was extremely inclusive of everyone I interacted with. I always tried to support as many people as I can whether it was our athletic teams, our marching band the Boom, the international student association. Not just that I supported everyone, but that I also tried to get everyone to know what everyone else was doing. I tried to be a liaison between everyone.
We are approaching the 50th anniversary of the deaths of Phillip Gibbs and James Green. Why do you think it’s important for students to know this history?
Because we named our plaza, one of the main parts of the university, after these two individuals I think it’s important for us not to just walk through it without knowing the history. This place is indeed historic. We have much to be proud of due to our resilience. How we were able to still be an institution after such a tragic event is an example of our resilience.
Any words of advice for the next Miss JSU?
Stay true to yourself. Before you can serve anyone else, you have to take care of yourself first. Make sure you know who you are and what you stand for because you’ll be encountering so many different people and speaking engagements. It’s important to have a base before you do all these things. Also, run your own race. It’s the only way to stay focused and not let anything deter you from being your best self.
MISTER JSU: GRANT BROADWAY
Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas
Plans to be: A Pharmacist
Favorite color: Blue
Dream car: Tesla
Favorite Movie: 42 – Jackie Robinson biopic
Why did you want to be Mister JSU?
I wanted to change the environment around me. One of the biggest reasons is that I felt a lot of our underclassmen didn’t have the guidance they needed on campus. I was a resident assistant. I always saw the current class of freshmen coming through, and I realized I could make an impact with my programming. Whether it was through community service or the leadership organizations Dixon government or Men of Excellence, I wanted to help our young men and just have a conversation with them. Many students come from different backgrounds, and they just need to be exposed to certain things. I want to plant that seed or help turn on that lightbulb that leads to something better for them.
What is your proudest moment as Mister JSU?
That would have to be when the Royal Court had an event called the Royal Thrift. That was an idea I helped pitch to the court, and they were really on board. It was a two-part event. First, we collected clothes from all the upperclassmen, and it was very tiring. We were at every dormitory for two to three hours, getting clothes. We sorted all the clothes, and then we set up a shop in the lobby of residence halls Dixon and McAllister. And we gave the clothes away to freshmen students in need. I think that should be a trend for the next Royal Court and for years to come. A lot of students loved it and benefitted from it.
What was one of your obstacles as Mister JSU?
Balancing everything as a student, Mister JSU and ROTC. I have to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning, go to classes, do events, and still have a smile on my face. It can be really taxing. I don’t want someone to have a negative interaction with me based on how I’m feeling.
What do you want people to remember about your leadership?
That I was a selfless leader. I want everyone and my Royal Court to remember that it wasn’t always about me. It was about the students. The biggest thing I hope they take away is that I was selfless.
Why is it important to know how Gibbs- Green plaza derived its name?
We must learn the history, remember our history and don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunities around us. Before we had a plaza, it was a road. Then we had the traumatic deaths of Phillip Gibbs and James Green. We turned something sad into something great because the plaza today has so much life. We have created memories there and built friendships and have so much fun there. It represents life. The start of new beginnings and chasing your dreams, but we have to remember how it started.
What would you like to see from the next Mister JSU?
A continuation of service. No matter what happens, they will always be of service. I hope they continue to build the brand of Mister JSU as a role model, an outstanding figure, more than a representation of the University but someone who can relate to all students and meet their needs. I would also like him to develop other leaders and help them leave their mark.