Williams strives for success through WKU experience
- Aurelia Spaulding
- Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
It takes a special person to work with children - a kind, caring, patient individual - and Jakayla Williams, a graduating senior majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child Studies, knew at an early age those qualities existed in her. “I love the interaction and support I can give to a child,” she said.
Williams, from Louisville, will finish her undergraduate degree this week and enter a career in childcare fully prepared because of her experiences inside and outside the classroom while at WKU.
Desiring to learn about the career field and grow as a leader framed Williams’ WKU experience. She comes from a family where her time spent with younger cousins (within the ages of birth to five years old) and the addition of her niece to the family in 2019 reinforces her passion for working with children. Therefore, much of her time on the Hill consisted of applying coursework outside the classroom, earning certifications, and working in organizations that also allowed her to volunteer with youth.
“The best part of my time at WKU has been getting experience through my career field,” Williams said. “When I had to observe, I saw for myself how to make a connection in person, with what I learned through the textbooks. There were many late nights and early mornings as I have strived through to be successful.”
Williams changed her major to Family and Consumer Sciences during her second year at WKU upon learning that major would equip her to work in childcare with children and families.
“I have applied what I have learned in my major by completing the Program Administration Scale within Measuring Early Childhood Leadership and Management, observed children in multiple childcare development centers and have gotten a visual of my studies of child development,” Williams said. “I have done the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale and have gotten to use techniques that follow up in our assignments and readings. Within my major classes, I am going to receive the WKU Early Childhood Education Director Certificate and the Kentucky Early Childhood Director’s Credential from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Child Care.”
Teachers like Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Human Services Dr. D’Lee Babb, can attest to Williams’ work along her path to prepare for a career after graduation. Over three years, Babb taught Williams in multiple classes.
“Miss Williams has a heart dedicated to helping children and families,” Babb said. “She desires to learn as much about them as possible to best meet their needs. She balances a number of obligations that go beyond her schoolwork and include work, service organizations, and leadership responsibilities.”
Those obligations beyond her schoolwork consist of a long list of activities, but two organizations in particular marked Williams’ WKU experience.
“The organizations that have shaped my WKU experience are Black Women of Western (B-WOW) and the Eta Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.,” Williams said.
Williams joined the executive board of B-WOW in the fall of 2018 as treasurer and moved her way up to the president position. According to Williams, Black Women of Western dedicates its work to assisting African American students in navigating campus, ensuring they are aware of their campus resources, as well as informing them of opportunities to get involved on campus. “From hosting events to leading many meetings and serving the community, I have come out of my comfort zone and grown into a wiser, more responsible, mature individual.”
Williams joined Delta Sigma Theta during the spring 2019 semester. “While being a part of this Illustrious Sorority, I have had the opportunity to serve in the positions of financial secretary and the chapter president.”
In her sorority, Williams volunteered for a number of organizations and participated in several events. She served with Crossland Community Church, Housing Authority of Bowling Green, Salvation Army, and Bowling Green Junior High School, amongst others. She also enjoyed her experience practicing and stepping in the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s (NPHC) Yard Show and 2019 step show at WKU.
In both organizations, Williams worked with Assistant Director of Student Activities Randall P. Bogard, who serves as the advisor for B-WOW and the NPHC.
“Jakayla has continued to strive to be the best leader possible. She has used her experience in Black Women of Western, Delta Sigma Theta and National Pan-Hellenic Council to find her leadership voice and leave her print on the Hill,” Bogard said. “She leads by example, as evident by serving as the President of B-WOW over the last two years.”
While Williams remains humble about her accomplishments within her organization, Bogard shared the impact of her leadership. “In her role in B-WOW, she has worked hard to bring more structure to the organization as well as creating signature programs such as their Girl Talk Series. As the president of the Eta Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Jakayla led them through all the changes and challenges of doing a member intake process in the midst of COVID.”
As of Friday, December 11, Western Kentucky University will consider Jakayla Williams a graduate of the university - earning a bachelor’s in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration on Child Studies from the College of Health and Human Services.
“When I reflect on my experiences, I know that overall every event, meeting, and gathering I attended has been important to my purpose here. They taught me plenty of knowledge, challenges, interests, and hope to grow even more. College has helped me get to know what I enjoy with all the opportunities I have gotten to move forward with,” Williams said.
- For information about earning a degree in Family and Consumer Science, visit https://www.wku.edu/ahs/fcsed.php
- For information about the Early Childhood Director Certificate, visit https://www.wku.edu/ahs/childstudies/earlychildhooddirectorscred.php
#WKUGrad series: As part of our #WKUGrad series, WKU News shares articles on graduating students. See all of their stories at https://www.wku.edu/news/articles/index.php?view=default&categoryid=799&multinewsid=187.