JSU graduate overcomes familial struggles to receive computer science degree

Jackson native Emerril Green attained his bachelor’s degree from JSU on April 30. He also secured a data analyst position with Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Freddie Mac.

Still, Green acknowledged that his academic journey was not always easy because of unexpected life challenges.

Due to the unprecedented winter storm, Green described the beginning of the 2021 spring semester as tumultuous. Making matters worse, his mother contracted COVID-19.

“I quarantined with her and became her primary caretaker. I was in charge of cooking, cleaning, disinfecting, laundry, everything; I was essentially running the house on my own. Thankfully, my classes were all online, so I didn’t fall behind in my schoolwork. Once her health improved, I returned to campus,” he shared.

Subsequently, that December, Green’s father suffered a work-related injury that left him incapacitated for two months.

“I had never seen him in such agony – physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. And it hurt me deeply because I knew there was nothing more my mom and I could do for him,” Green said.

Once his father opted for surgery, his health improved dramatically.

“I’m just thankful that I could be there to support my parents through that difficult time. God has looked after them all this time, and I know He will continue to do so once I move on,” he said.

Green explained that even though he lives 20 minutes from home, it is difficult being away from his parents for extended periods. He also shared that he has always leaned on his faith in every situation.

The alum revealed that enrolling at JSU was a testament to his faith. Originally, Green said he did not believe he was able to matriculate at JSU as a freshman.

“So, my plan changed to go to Hinds Community College and then transfer. After an academically lackluster first semester, my fervor was ignited, and my path to Jackson State eventually became clear,” he said.

Green joined his community college’s 2+2 program, where students can complete their freshman and sophomore years at Hinds before finishing a baccalaureate degree-granting academic program at JSU.

“The people here have helped me develop my professional skills and discipline. I balanced relationships, church life, a part-time job, 16 to 18 credit hour semesters, a research job and two internships,” said Green.

“I never would’ve believed I could manage my time and effort efficiently until I came here. Now, my faith is stronger than ever, and the skills I take from Jackson State continue to develop wherever I go.”

Not only did Green have a rigorous academic schedule, he actively served as a DuBois-Harvey Honors College Mentorship Program mentor, a University Communications intern, and a research apprentice.

He was also a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success, Mortar Board National Honor Society, Tau Sigma National Honor Society, Pi Mu Epsilon National Honor Society – Mississippi Gamma Chapter, Golden Key International Honour Society, The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Jackson State University Du Bois-Harvey Honors College, and Association for Computing Machinery.

Green credits God and JSU for the connections he has made during his undergraduate years and the opportunities he has received. He then thanked his mother and father for their support. 

Green also expressed appreciation for his sister, who inspired him to attain his bachelor’s degree. He also shouts out his mentors, Sydney Brookes, programming instructor at Hinds Community College, and L.A. Warren, former JSU media specialist. As for his post-graduation plans, Green is moving to Dallas to begin his new position as a technology analyst for Freddie Mac. He hopes to transition into data analytics.

“Because of what JSU has done for me, I plan to establish myself and eventually give back to my alma mater, high school, city, and surrounding communities. I want to invest more of my finances and time in people in need, especially my peers and future classes of Jackson State University.”