I wanted to be a voice for students

Photo of Miss FAMU Aliya Everett courtesy: Everett

Serving as the 116th Miss Florida A&M University has come with many blessings.

I have learned lessons that have not only carried me through this semester, but will carry me through life. I’ve learned more about my university, building relationships with strong but nurturing Rattlers who make up our beautiful alumni base, and I’ve learned more about myself.

Armani Jones and I became Miss and Mister FAMU at a unique time for the university. Everyone was waiting to see what the new court would bring to the table, and most of that pressure fell on me. We delivered, and most certainly left an impression on every person and place that we touched.

My reign was eye opening, to say the least.

I ran for Miss FAMU for a variety of reasons. I wanted to blaze a trail for the youth in my community, leave my mark on FAMU and to be a voice for the student body.

I come from a small community in the Panhandle where gifted scholars and athletes often graduate from high school with plans to pursue higher education. They do; however, those students graduate, or drop out, just to return and start their life in our hometown. That’s what some people know and want to do, but I wanted to be an example for our youth that you can become more than what our town has to offer.

I love FAMU.

I established a love for FAMU at a young age and although I tried to push myself into a different direction, I just had to come. I made a promise to myself to always leave wherever God places me better than it was before. Not only have I done this at FAMU, but I’ve been able to touch people all over the country in my position as Miss FAMU.

I wanted to be a voice for the students of FAMU, creating change where it is needed on campus, but that isn’t exactly how the Royal Court works. I’ve learned that FAMU royalty is the face and ultimate representation of the university, and a lot of students don’t understand the roles of our student leaders on campus. At the end of the day, we are students. Yes, we can be that voice for the student body, but it’s up to the administration to facilitate change.

My reign wasn’t exactly how I envisioned it, however. I will forever be grateful to the students who supported and elected me for this position. I have traveled to cities and states that I had never been, made FAMU history, and gained two beautiful sisterhoods comprised of true queens.

I look forward to witnessing the new court’s reign and can’t wait to see how they leave their mark on FAMU’s royal legacy.