MSW student Jamillah Williams is a self-professed dreamer with big dreams of being, in her own words, “a driving force of social change in the world,” taking on, “some of the challenges many disadvantaged groups face, namely the poor, African-American minorities, and women.” She will be one step closer to realizing her dreams with the help of the 2015-2016 Leslie N. Wilson-Auzenne Graduate Assistantship for Minorities.
Born in San Bernadino, California, Jamillah spent many of her formative years in Marietta, Georgia before attending Florida A&M University for her bachelor’s degree and currently Florida State University for a dual master’s degree in public administration and social work. “Pursuing higher education is very important in my career journey, because without the proper foundation, I cannot hope to be knowledgeable or skilled enough to sustain anything that I try to build,” Jamillah reflected in her statement of goals for the assistantship.
Jamillah was selected along with a select group of other students from a pool of both prospective and current students for this competitive, university-wide assistantship. The Wilson-Auzenne Graduate Assistantship provides not only financial support to the recipients, but facilitates networking and professional development.
“Ultimately, I would like to be a social entrepreneur,” Jamillah explained. And Jamillah’s big dreams have a clear focus on targeting and positively impacting low-income communities by creating programs and organizations that promote unity and comradery. She imagines community centers and rejuvenation projects to aid and empower neighborhoods and their residents. In particular, her greatest goal is to found a nonprofit transitional housing community for women and children from all ethnic backgrounds, but with a particular focus on women and children in the African-American community, helping them realize their potential by providing opportunities for growth and advancement. She envisions this community to provide workforce development, counseling services, and partnerships with surrounding businesses and organizations to provide additional opportunities for the women and children they serve.
“My zeal and passion are fueled by my desire to help others and to prepare the way for the next generation to reach higher heights, explore deeper depths, and do greater works than we could have possibly imagined,” Jamillah stressed in her statement of goals. And reflecting on the Wilson-Auzenne Graduate Assistantship she affirmed that, “with this level of support, I am certain that I will leave a legacy of charity, generosity, and excellence that people after me can look up to.”
To learn more about the Wilson-Auzeene Graduate Assistantship and other fellowships and grants, visit the FSU Graduate School website.