Junior Mishayla Hamlett, a social work major from San Diego, passed away June 24. She was 21.
Born January 13, 1998, Hamlett was raised in Southern California. She graduated in 2016 from High Tech Media Arts High School in San Diego, where she also achieved the status of published author with her book The Uh Oh Pirate. As a teenager, she attended Rock Church Youth Ministry and was a member of its leadership council.
After coming to Chico State in fall 2016, Hamlett continued her passion for mentorship by helping students in the Chico Student Success Center. And during summer breaks, she worked as a camp leader at Camp Oliver, one of San Diego’s oldest summer camps. She also found an extended family as a member of Upsilon Kappa Delta multicultural sorority.
Hamlett’s sorority sisters posted a tribute to her on Instagram, remembering her warmth and “beautiful soul.”
“Mishayla impacted each and every sister she met, we will always treasure the memories made with her in the short time that she was with us. We are blessed to have had a one-of-a-kind soul enter our lives,” they wrote.
As a freshman participating in the CSSC’s first-year mentoring program, REACH, Hamlett met achievement specialist Jessica Dietrich and the two continued to get to know one another last year when she became a peer mentor. Hamlett had an impact on all who knew her, Dietrich said.
“She had a great desire to help guide and support her group of mentees, and she cared for each of them and their success,” she said. “This next year, she was looking forward to her social work internship and was hoping to work at the Boys & Girls Club.”
Hamlett’s family said that she was unique, strong-minded, and made her presence known wherever she went, with her big smile and infectious laugh. The second-oldest of six children, she stood out from her siblings at an early age as someone who marched to the beat of her own drum. She had a wanderlust spirit, with a love of traveling, hiking in the mountains, and exploring new places, and exhibited her deep love of music by often singing and playing the guitar.
She is survived by her mother, Nicole Johnson; father Michael Hamlett; sisters Shacole, Kathy, and Brianna Hamlett, brothers Xavier and Zachary Hamlett; grandmother Sharon Grantonz; grandmother Katherine Hamlett; grandfather Calvin Johnson; great grandmother Lee Edna Grantonz; great aunt Deborah Grantonz; nephew Jedi Copeland; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 6, from 2–6 p.m. at the Rock Church Point Loma Youth Center, 2277 Rosecrans Street, San Diego. Friends and family are seeking donations to support Hamlett’s memorial with a Go Fund Me.
The University flag will be lowered Monday, July 8 in her memory.