Featured photo: Jashell Mitchell, by the North Carolina Central University Media Team
Written by Antonio Sweeney
Jashell Mitchell is a proud graduate of Bethune Cookman University (BCU), one of 107 Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) in the nation. At BCU, she studied physical education and recreation and then went to graduate school at the University of Memphis for sports management. From the hallways of Flint Northern High school, where she attended growing up, to now serving as the chief of staff for the Jackson State University (JSU) football staff. She now has a story to tell.
Sports have always been a part of her life from an early age.
“I did girls’ basketball, softball and track at Flint Northern High School, which then transitioned me to get a full-ride basketball scholarship at BCU,” said Jashell Mitchell. “I was able to leave Michigan for Florida to get a fresh start. I’ve always had the desire to be in the sports world”.
HBCU’s legacy is in her bloodline as her older sister is a graduate of HBCU Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio. Jashell Mitchell’s sister later finished her studies at Mott Community College, in Flint.
When she is not on the field, Jashell Mitchell makes an impact where it counts with her non-profit foundation, Invisible Giants Legacy and Leadership Foundation. It’s an organization based out of Flint to help with education, recreation and sports resources for youth and adults through outings like Detroit Pistons and Lions games. The organization also provides resources, such as training equipment, cleats, gloves and event registrations for youth sports.
How has she climbed the ladder so high recently?
“It’s all about relationships, and people remember who you are,” Jashell Mitchell explained. “I was elated when Coach Taylor, the head football coach at JSU, and his wife, Mrs. Dawn Taylor, who I’ve worked with back at North Carolina Central University (another HBCU) called me to get back into the lab. It was a blessing and a way to showcase that I can do this and work aside athletic directors like JSU Athletic Director Ashley Robinson.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the entire JSU community.”
Now HBCUs graduates proudly represent their institutions, whether at a football game or a job interview. The world is now a little upside for Jashell Mitchell, after graduating from an HBCU and now working for one in a significant role.
“I’m going where the paycheck and impact counts! I will always have a love for BCU, but I will be representing JSU on the sideline. I’m most grateful for BCU Founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. She was a woman who put in hard work, and I pay tribute to her in all my work.”
Jashell Mitchell is already off to an enthusiastic start.
“I’ve been in Mississippi since January, and we’re preparing for the spring football season with our first game in Atlanta, and we expect we end in Atlanta with the HBCU National Championship.”
When it comes to college decisions, HBCUs can be put in the shadows. However, Jashell Mitchell and countless other HBCU grads are paving the way for more scholars to choose HBCUs.
“Do your homework and research. The experience is a cultural experience and may not be for everybody, but at the same time can be a life-changing experience that you hold with you forever.”
Now a full-time Tiger at JSU, she will always be a Flint Stone first.
“Everyone is familiar with Flint, from our entertainers and athletes. Being from Flint is an honor. At the same time, I think the city of Jackson and Flint’s experiences are a blessing and a curse from a water crisis standpoint. We’re still experiencing a water crisis here in Jackson in some areas. However, this allows me to continue to serve the community with my foundation and some new initiatives. In the words of Nipsey Hussle, the marathon continues. Just because I left Flint; it will always be in me.”
Jashell Mitchell’s has a last piece of advice to anyone chasing a dream or goal that needs a little motivation.
“ If your why doesn’t make you cry, it’s not big enough.”