JSU student with hearing loss to become one of first to receive accounting degree

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Deundra Owens-Blackmon was a baby when her hearing disappeared forever due to a fever, which is one of the reasons her upcoming debut on Saturday, April 30 is all the sweeter. She is one of the first deaf students to receive an accounting degree from the university’s College of Business.

A native of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Owens-Blackmon began using sign language at age 2 in pre-kindergarten. Eventually, she would give birth to a son, DeAndre, 12, and a daughter, Zaniyah, 10. She taught her two children to sign when they were 11 months old.

Raising two children on her own, Owens-Blackmon says the idea of ​​going to college seemed out of her reach.

I never imagined that I would one day go back to school in higher education to continue my studies. I was a single mother with two children,” she shares.

One day, while at a store in Hammond, Louisiana, she met an old acquaintance, Wilson Blackmon, originally from Canton, Mississippi. Coincidentally, Wilson Blackmon lost his hearing at the age of 5 due to a fever.

The couple fell in love and married in 2018, and in the fall of 2018, Owens-Blackmon enrolled at JSU.

The future graduate admits that the learning process was not without obstacles, but thanks to her hard work, dedication and perseverance, Owens-Blackmon reached the grand finale of her undergraduate journey.

“Jackson State University means so much to me. My HBCU experience will forever be unforgettable. The people and friends I have met over these four years have helped me grow and mature from my mistakes,” says Owens -Blackmon, who holds a 3.3 GPA and is an active member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at JSU.

After graduation, Owens-Blackmon says she plans to become a CPA and pursue a master’s degree in professional accounting at JSU.

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