August 31, 2011 – Mr. and Miss Fort Valley State University, Jared Williams and Ke’ayaReeves are two of the most high profile ambassadors for the school. The seniors will take center stage this year, representing students with intellect, style and charm. It’s a job they take very seriously.
In this week’s “Just Do You,” Tauheedah Shukriyyah Asad, public relations specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communications, gets to know the personal side of the hard-working, down-to-earth duo.
How would you describe your personality?
Miss FVSU: I’m a very friendly person; genuine, dedicated, hardworking and very family oriented.
Mr. FVSU: I’m very outgoing and a bit of a socialite. I love meeting people and I’m usually the guy in the room that breaks the ice when the room is real intense. I have a permanent smile. It takes a lot to get me upset and when I do, I try not to go outside (laughs). I stay in my room until I compose myself. Also, I’m very passionate about education, especially when it comes to minorities. I try to inspire African Americans to live beyond the stereotypes placed upon us.
Kea’ya, what inspired you to run for position of Miss FVSU?
Miss FVSU: I grew up around FVSU. My mother, father and both of my brothers attended FVSU. I also have a bunch of cousins, uncles and aunties who went to school here. So, I’ve pretty much been a Wildcat since before I could walk.
Jarred, you shed many tears when you were crowned last year. What brought on all those emotions?
Mr. FVSU: (Laughing) I got a little emotional because I remembered sitting in Wildcat Commons’ courtyard my freshman year talking with Dominique Nichols about him wanting to be SGA president and me, Mr. FVSU. At that moment when they announced the winner, I looked over at [Dominique] on stage and thought, “Wow, our dreams and ambitions have come to fruition.”
Tell me, what do you love the most about FVSU?
Miss FVSU: The atmosphere. FVSU has a real family vibe. It’s like no other campus I’ve ever seen.
Mr. FVSU: The environment. The culture of the campus. You really get a sense of the African-American culture. Not the side you see on BET, but people who are engrossed in academia; African Americans who are striving to be great. There’s so much love on the campus. Like Kea’ya said we’re a family.
What are some of your hobbies?
Miss FVSU: Dancing and cheering. Those are my passions. I’ve been a Wildcat cheerleader since my freshman year. My mom, Gwendolyn Reeves, is one of the founders of the Phases Dance Troupe here on campus. In my spare time, I love shopping and spending time with my family and friends.
Mr. FVSU: I like playing piano especially when I have something on my mind. It’s a hobby I recently picked up. I also love hanging out at Barnes and Nobles bookstores. I’ll sit in there and read all day. I like traveling—just getting in the car and driving. If gas wasn’t a factor, I’d probably be all over the country. I love to be around people. Oh yeah, I like sports. I love baseball. I’m a Ranger’s fan. I’m also a Cowboys’ fan, but they’re not doing so hot. I’ve [also] been golfing for as long as I can remember.
I know the school year has just started, but what’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced since getting elected?
Miss FVSU: We actually started working the moment the members of the royal court were announced. This summer, we started getting ready for homecoming and the FAMUgame and preparing to get the [royal] court together. I started thinking about ideas for what I would do as Miss FVSU back when I was Miss Junior. That’s just how I am. I’m a very organized person. One of the biggest challenges I have is living up to the standards set by the previous Miss FVSU, [Jasmine Howard], especially since she’s still on campus.
Mr. FVSU: Today, I really got the feel for what the year is going to be like. I had classes— because you know, I’m still a student (laughing). I greeted a lot of people, met new students, caught up with old friends all while still trying to be Jarred, and stay true to myself. It’s a real balancing act.
And it’s tough because I’m bad at keeping to-do lists. But it’s getting hectic; so I’m going to have to learn how to sit down and write everything out. Another challenge is sometimes your friends may not understand when you can’t hang out. But that’s not too much of an issue because I have a great group of line brothers, friends and family who support me and my mission.
What’s a little known fact about you?
Miss FVSU: I’m very shy even though it doesn’t seem that way because of the pageants and cheerleading. I just try not to show it.
Mr. FVSU: One of my favorite songs is a country song. It goes (singing), “well I’ve been thinking ‘bout you all day long” (laughs).” I don’t even like country music, but my brother made a CD of love songs and it was on it. Other than that, I think I’m an open book.
If you could say anything to the student body at FVSU what would it be?
Miss FVSU: I’m excited about this year and appreciative to everyone who supports me. People come up to me and say “Hey, Miss FVSU,” but I’m still Kea’ya. I won’t let the title consume me. I’m not better than anybody. I’m just like the other students. I would like to be known as the queen who took things to the next level. I want to bring more positivity to the campus and I love giving back. I’ll be that queen that comes back and continuously gives to FVSU.
Mr. FVSU: I want the students to realize that college is one of the greatest times in our lives, and it’s essential that we take advantage of everything our school has to offer. Everyday is a step toward making a better life for ourselves, our families and our communities. Having that mindset optimizes our FVSU experience. I’m thrilled and humbled to serve as Mr. FVSU. I’m appreciative; and to those who don’t know me, know that I really am here to help. Those who do know me, please know that I’m still the same Jared at heart.