JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Jackson State University (JSU) student from California was worried her dream of attending an HBCU might be put on hold after she couldn’t get a dorm on campus due to a housing shortage.
Now, with the help of some of her dance team coaches, she will be able to live on the JSU campus as planned.
Just a few weeks ago, incoming freshman Heaven Lomontey flew in from Palm Springs, California, to start dance camp with her new team, “J-Suede.” She didn’t know if she would be here to stay because all of the on-campus housing was full.
“I literally was getting ready for my prom, and my aunt was like, ‘Hurry, you have to apply for housing. I’ll pay for your deposit right now.’ It immediately said, ‘We don’t have anymore housing left.’ These past couple of months, we’ve been stressed because I don’t have any family out here,” said Lomontey.
She dreamed of attending Jackson State and continuing her dance career. She said it felt like home the moment she stepped on campus.
“The energy here is next level. I feel like I have a home on this team, even if I wasn’t going to dance this semester,” she said.
The university does recommend off-campus housing for students, but that wouldn’t have been possible for her.
“Coming from a single-parent household, that’s not an option. My dad called me and said, ‘If you decide to go to Jackson State, and you don’t have housing, I’m not going to support you. You either come here to North Dakota and go to Dickenson State for the first semester.’ I was like, ‘I’m definitely not going to Dickenson State,'” said Lomontey.
Her dance coaches helped her along the way to make sure she would have a dorm so she could dance this fall.
“We’re always together, so we have no choice but to be family,” said Jalen Jones with J-Suede.
“All that trouble that I went through was worth it times ten. I love it here so much. Where I come from, everyone is just to themselves and about themselves. Jackson State is such a blessing and I’m so excited that I’m going to be here for at least four years,” said Lomontey.
The division of student affairs is working to get as many students as they can off the waitlist and into a dorm room as the fall semester quickly approaches.