For many people, going to the dentist is a chore. The cleanings, cavities and everything in between leave many with mixed emotions. Essence Williams, a second-year pre-dentistry major at Florida A&M University, understands this pressure and is determined to one day use her skill-set to allow people to look and feel like the very best version of themselves.
As a third-generation Rattler, FAMU was in her DNA. This made her college decision easy as can be. Though choosing a major wasn’t too hard either, with a natural gift of science and numbers, Williams decided to pursue dentistry.
Williams was eager to find where her purpose met her passion. Outside of her strong science interests, she greatly values encouraging others to be confident.
“As a physical and mental health advocate, one of the reasons I chose dentistry is because it’s the perfect way to make people feel good about themselves and combine my interests,” Williams said. “I chose cosmetic dentistry because I would be able to help boost the confidence of my future patients.”
Aside from personal satisfaction and fulfilling her dreams, Williams also knows the importance of minority representation and the lasting impact she’ll leave on patients
“I wanted to pursue a career where I would be given the opportunity where I could make an impact on people’s lives,” Williams said. “Whether you are meeting someone new or taking a glance in the mirror, a smile is always a feature one strives to be confident and that’s what I hope to help others obtain.”
While many students shy away from careers in STEM fields, Williams is determined to have balance through the rigorous course load, always keeping her end goal in mind. She utilizes campus resources and incorporates daily movement into her schedule to ensure success.
“My secret in doing everything is always having a plan, taking advantage of resources provided on campus, and making sure I prioritize my mental health throughout my day,” Williams said. “I start each day with meditation, after class, I go to the labs on campus to complete homework and end my day going to the gym. My schedule keeps me on track and the gym serves as my much-needed break from reality.”
Outside of academics, Williams is also heavily involved on campus through various organizations.
“I’m an active member of Relay for Life, FWPC Collegiate Payer Group, Biology Student Organization, Honors Student Association, Pre-Medicine program, and The REAL Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Incorporated,” Williams said.
Gillian Chiles, Williams’s sorority sister, says she admires Williams’ strong work ethic and drive in all she does.
“Essence is one of the hardest working individuals I know. She loves deeply and puts her best foot effort in everything she is involved in,” Chiles said. “I look up to her in so many ways and look forward to continuing working alongside her.”
Jada Carter, Williams’ classmate, also shared her joy in working with Williams and her confidence in Williams obtaining her goals.
“Essence is the classmate that is always there to lend a helping hand. She is extremely knowledgeable, and I often turn to her for guidance when I need help,” Carter said. “She treats everyone around her like family and I know she will provide the same great knowledge and compassion to her patients one day.”
Williams recently began shadowing hours at a local dentist’s office. She is fully committed to reaching her goals while remaining true to her values. Upon graduation in May 2025, Williams plans to attend a top dental school.