Williams steps outside her comfort zone

FAMU student Jaleigha Williams. Photo courtesy Williams.

Jaleigha Williams, a third-year pharmacy candidate at Florida A&M University, continuously strives to achieve excellence despite coming to a school and an environment that she was not familiar with.

A native of Boston, Williams is a full-time student. Upon arriving at FAMU, Williams said she was introverted and had to join various organizations to break out of her shell.

Joining the FAMU football/basketball cheer team was one of Williams’ biggest accomplishments as a FAMU student. Williams has had a passion for cheerleading since she was four years old. She was a member of several competitive all-star teams and even won a cheering worlds championship, an international competition hosted for several competitive cheerleading teams in the United States.

“I got involved with the cheer team because before I came to FAMU, I knew I was very shy around people,” Williams said. “I knew that the one thing I wasn’t shy about was cheerleading, so I thought joining the team would give me the perfect opportunity to be social around women who shared the same love for cheerleading as I do.”

Iman Baker, a third-year pre-physical therapy student from Tallahassee, praised Williams’ character and felt their mutual love of cheer led to their friendship.

“Being Jaleigha’s friend these past few years has been a fun experience,” Baker said. “She is so caring and loving despite her cold front she gives off to people upon initially meeting her. She has taught me a lot about myself and helped me grow as a person.”

Williams is also affiliated with FAMU Pink and the Atlanta Club. Williams adored the pink brand and what it stood for as a teen, so she believed it would be only appropriate for her to be a campus representative of that brand. After her mother relocated to Atlanta after high school, Williams joined the Atlanta Club to network and engage with students who also lived there.

Nyah Acoff is impressed with how well Williams is doing in college.

“Jaleigha is extremely goal-oriented,” Acoff said. “I’m so proud of her for getting outside her comfort zone and doing things to make an impact on FAMU’s campus.”

Williams intends to return to Boston after graduation to work as a pharmacist at Boston Children’s Hospital while pursuing a master’s degree in business administration with the goal of eventually becoming a director of pharmacy at a level one hospital.

“I chose pharmacy school because I knew I always wanted to be in the medical field and help people,” Williams said. “But I also knew that another 12 years of school was not ideal for me.”