Nostalgia could be heard in the voice of Amberly Williams as she reminisced about being a young girl that attended many homecomings, convocations and community events on Florida A&M University’s campus before being a student, and becoming the face of FAMU.
Williams, the 110th Miss Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and fourth-year biology student from Jackson County, attended FAMU DRS K-12 and made her transition into the university in 2013. It was during this time period that she was inspired to become more than the face of the university.
“I think living under the FAMU legacy for so long has truly inspired me to be who I am today,” Williams said. “I know that I stand on the shoulders of giants and the 109 that came before me cannot be reckoned with. I wanted to take a different approach because I know the biggest thing that people say about Miss FAMU is that it’s a face position and I wanted to change that.”
Williams campaigned through spring semester of 2015 with the motto “HOME is where the head, heart, hand and field are,” which are the core values on the university seal. Although she possessed the look, she wanted the student body to know that she was in the race to promote a positive turn for the university.
“It’s about getting your hands dirty, making sure students are prepared for the next level, building a strong relationship and bond between the community and students,” Williams said. “I think that’s something we haven’t seen so much of in the past few years. I want to be relatable to the student body and community all while keeping the regality of ‘Miss FAMU.’”
Sade Kelly, fourth-year broadcast journalism student from Miami and FAMU presidential Ambassador, noticed Williams was the right choice for the position. Kelly watched Williams’ efforts intensify even after the race was over.
“I continually see Amberly engaged and participating in events on and off campus, spending extra time after functions to form relationships with students,” Kelly said. “She has been a reminder to me that humility indeed goes a very long way.”
Paris Ellis, the Student Government Association Vice President from Atlanta, Ga., has worked closely with Williams and said she’s still the same individual she met years ago.
“Amberly is genuine, friendly and encouraging to girls of all ages,” Ellis said. “She defines class, elegance and black beauty all while being true to herself.”
When asked what Williams wanted her 110th legacy to be, she boiled it down to a simple statement:
“I want any and everyone to know that the only way to have a legacy is to put in the work to leave a legacy,” Williams said.