Name: Brooke Williams
School: University of Florida
Year: Fall 2014 – Current
As I reminisce over the life experiences that I have faced (single parent home, very limited funds) and overcame to become the person I am today, it brings back many memories that I initially viewed as obstacles. I now realize those obstacles were stepping stones in shaping me into the person I am today: Brooke Chappelle Williams, a 20 yr. old sophomore, majoring in Public Relations at the University of Florida. Growing up in a single parent home in Orlando, and later moving to Tallahassee, Florida, I realized early my passion to be a servant leader (or my passion to serve). Optimistic, positive, inquisitive and eager to learn new things has always been a way of life for me. Attending college was never a question, only a matter of how it would be funded.
My mother always taught me that all things are possible if only you believe and work hard to achieve your goals. As a result, I developed a plan early to reach my initial goal of being able to attend college because I knew that college was not an option, but a necessity for me to succeed in life. This plan began in middle school, continued through high school, and even continues today. My plan consists of earning good grades, being very active in school and the community, and continuously researching scholarship opportunities. Striving for excellence in every endeavor, being a compassionate team player, having enthusiasm for new challenges, and being prepared to learn from success and failures along the way became a way of life for me. Success is always good, but failure can be a wonderful thing too if the experience teaches you a life lesson. Failures often shattered my assumption of success and temporarily dismantled my confidence, but it also transformed me into the optimistic person I am today. I have learned that nothing is guaranteed, no matter how much it is deserved or desired, and you do not become a failure until you do not have the courage to try again. I decided long ago not to be a failure but to learn from my experiences.
As a result of applying and winning Best and Brightest in the category of “Leadership” in the Leon County School district, I was awarded a Scholarship from the Southern Scholarship Foundation. Though I had received additional scholarships, without the scholarship I received from the Southern Scholarship Foundation, I would not be where I am today. Being a student and living in the Tyner-Mack Scholarship house for the last two years, has afforded me the opportunity of meeting wonderful students from all walks of life, and we have all become one large family. Having the responsibility of chores and having regular house meetings really keeps us all connected, and makes life away from home easier than I ever imagined.
What makes the SSF scholarship so remarkable and significant to me is the emphasis placed on the students’ needs and passions. My financial need is evident, but even more evident is my passion to fulfill my educational and career goals. As I relate back to the mission of Southern Scholarship Foundation, “Education for Life,” I envision lifelong lessons not only in my classrooms and the community, but also inside the Mack Tyner and other scholarship houses. I am so thankful to be a resident of SSF and to have a community of individuals who support and love each other. I am grateful for the scholarship, my housemates and the priceless memories that I will forever cherish.
*If you would like to sponsor a student like Brooke, please visit our ‘Sponsor a Student’ page here: http://bit.ly/SSFSponsorship