Courtni Smith ‘changed FAMU cheerleading for the better’

Courtni Smith has always been a breath of fresh air. She aims for nothing but greatness.

Now that she is in her senior year of pursuing her degree in health leisure and fitness studies at Florida A&M University, Smith wants to show her positive impact on FAMU’s campus through cheerleading.

“Cheerleading means everything to me. Cheerleading has been my life since before I could cheer. I’ve met every single friend I have had in cheer,” Smith said. “A lot of people want me to give it up because they don’t see any future past just being an athlete. but I see passing on my skills and knowledge to the youth and help mold them into great athletes and people.”

The 22-year-old has been on FAMU’s cheerleading team for four consecutive years.

“When I made captain, that meant everything to me. Seeing my hard work pay off showed that there is more than makeup and skirts. We are athletes and we work hard,” she said. 

Smith, a native of Fort Myers, shows that dedication and talent can make a difference. Smith has balanced cheering all four years, competing year round. She was named a MEAC All Star during Spring 2016 and still manages to maintain a 3.0 GPA. 

Smith is a national cheerleader associate instructor. The competitive team won first place in the Coed Division in Norfolk, Va., in 2015, and the following year winning first place overall.

Andrea Agarrat, a friend and former teammate, said she admires Smith’s talent and ambition.

“I have always admired Courtni. Even though I am older than her, she still motivated me as a teammate. She is so talented and she is so passionate about cheerleading. I knew she’d make captain because she has what it takes to lead an entire squad to victory. She changed FAMU cheer for the better. She is both educated yet skilled in this sport.”

Nakeeba Ryan, Smith’s classmate, was impressed by Smith’s talents on the field.

“When I first saw Courtni cheer at a football game, I was amazed. I saw so much energy and she executed each skill perfectly. She knew every step and every word. It was refreshing to see someone so excited and happy to be cheering on her team.” 

Smith made it a priority to make sure she left an impact on her campus, at least in the athletic department. It is clear to see that her job at FAMU is coming to an end, but she won’t just stop at FAMU. Smith’s ultimate goal is to become a future parks and recreation director. Her biggest goal is to try and change children’s lives in a positive way.