The Author of Your Own Story
As a teen parent, college seemed more like a dream than a reality for Malika Williams. But as she got older, she was determined to become a better role model for her children. Ferris Statewide was the opportunity that allowed Malika to make that change. Finding a university that fit Malika's individual needs, while allowing her to stay local and continue to support her children, was not only necessary in moving her future forward, but also gave her a sense of empowerment and the motivation she needed to grow.
Very quickly Malika learned that the support at Ferris went beyond the classroom as she formed relationships with students and faculty who encouraged and inspired her both in her personal and professional goals. Catherine Belkowski, Malika's Ferris advisor, is just one person who has made an impact and pushed her every step of the way, in every aspect of her life. To Malika, it's both the personal connection and academic excellence that makes Ferris stand out and helped her reach her full potential.
A firm believer that we're the author of our own stories, Malika has continued to prove that. In 2014 she started the L.I.V.E (Learn to Innovate while creating Valiant Extraordinary people) Outreach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting youth within the foster care community by assisting with housing, financial support, career development, and life training skills. In addition to her nonprofit, Malika self-published an autobiography, "I'm just trying to L.I.V.E" where she recalls her time in the foster care system. Through all of her accomplishments, it was no surprise that Malika was a recent nominee for the Pacesetter Award, which she notes is an honor and she's grateful for the recognition from Ferris.
For anyone who is considering taking that leap in moving their education forward, Malika reminds them that they're the author of their own story. "The advice I would give an individual looking for a university that provides quality education with faculty members that go above and beyond to get students to the next level, Ferris State University is the school for them. You are never too old to learn something new and it's okay to take small steps, just keep going and don't give up."