Jayda Williams

University of Central Arkansas

Jayda Williams, a third-year student at the University of Central Arkansas, has pursued coursework in gender studies and African American studies alongside her chemistry major to provide her with the intellectual tools to pursue her passion for social justice. She currently serves as president of the campus chapter of the NAACP and has worked to advocate for statewide policy change to remove criminal history questions from employment application forms and expand opportunities for the rehabilitation of formerly incarcerated individuals. Jayda's concern for equality of opportunity similarly extends to students attending her own high school alma mater, where she has already co-founded a scholarship for minority graduates just a few short years after her own graduation.

Houston Davis Ph.D.
University of Central Arkansas

Personal Statement

Ultimately, my identity and my experiences have fueled my passion for civic engagement. As an African American girl raised in an impoverished neighborhood, I was overcome with the desire for different opportunities for others who looked like me or had the same experiences I've had. My mom was my first inspiration, and I volunteered with her nonprofit organization throughout high school. The organization aided in the improvement of our community in many ways, from sheltering women who were victims of domestic violence to feeding meals to kids in low-income neighborhoods. Like her, I aspire to use my potential career as a chemist, educator, and entrepreneur to dismantle inequity and economic disparity -primarily within the black community -by organizing outreach programs that combat marginalizing systems. I have already begun to develop the skills I will need to achieve my goals through my involvement with organizations such as the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, and I believe that the Newman Civic Fellowship will offer me the opportunity to learn and refine my skills in collaboration, organizing, and community-building.

Jayda Williams
Chemistry/Biochemistry: Class of May 2019
written 2018

2018 Fellows Alphabetical by Institution

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Terrell Saunders, UNC Greensboro Lizbeth Morales, Univeristy of North Texas at Dallas Evelyn Denisse Monreal Pitones, Universidad de Monterrey Mikita Thompson, University of Baltimore Jayda Williams, University of Central Arkansas Madeline Mills, University of Central Florida Kalen Russell, University of Central Oklahoma Wanjiku Gatheru, University of Connecticut Sarah Richard, University of Dayton Liliana Diaz-Solodukhin, University of Denver Krista Smith, University of Florida Mariana Grijalva, University of Houston-Downtown Marvin Slaughter, University of Illinois at Chicago Alix Fisk, University of Kansas Cynthia Corona, University of La Verne Taryn Jones, University of Maryland Eastern Shore Stephanie Milani, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Josue Rivera Valdez, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Faith Boone, University of Miami Anna Maria Genovesi, University of Michigan-Flint Jennifer Mossgraber, University of Missouri - St. Louis Sophie Moon, University of Montana Spencer Whyte, University of Mount Union Cassandra Griffin, University of Nebraska Omaha Daniel Suber, University of North Carolina Asheville Sreevidhya (Vidhya) Balasubramanian, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Katherine Rasmussen, University of North Florida Brittaney Dyer, University of North Georgia Ashley Sánchez, University of Northern Iowa Prathm Juneja, University of Notre Dame Sabine Brown, University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Heidi Lee, University of Pennsylvania Matthew Bell, University of Puget Sound Victoria Stabile, University of Rhode Island Alicia Jiggetts, University of Richmond Josefina Jaramillo, University of San Diego Daizha Green, University of South Carolina Tiana Burgess, University of South Carolina Beaufort Michael Sullivan, University of St Thomas Wendy Hoang, University of Wisconsin - Madison Yoger Aguilar, University of Wisconsin - Parkside Zoe Betancourt, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Sydney Mastey, University of Wisconsin-Superior
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