“I am going to be Oprah! Something deep down in me is telling me I’m going to have her job. I like to talk. That has always been a thing of mine. Growing up, you have kids that can sing and kids that can dance. You have guys or girls that are very athletic. I wasn’t any of those kids. So, I thought I didn’t have a talent.

But it hasn’t been until the last three or four years that I began to understand that I have a way with people and that’s my talent. I like to talk, and I speak well. That’s my talent. In hearing Oprah’s story, I realized we have similar stories. She dealt with sexual abuse. So have I. I come from a very private family, and we didn’t really talk about stuff like that. So, I really didn’t know that people were being sexually abused like that until I got here.

The last Miss JSU, Destiney Lawrence, held a girls forum when she was Miss Sophomore, and we were all there, and we were able to open up. And I realized that so many people had dealt with sexual abuse, molestation or even rape. Just to be around so many people that have dealt with that made me feel more comfortable. That forum did a lot for me. Just to have that freedom to be able to talk about those things really did something for me.

Now, I want to be able to tell my testimony. I think, the more I’m learning about myself, and the more self-aware I’m becoming, I’m finding comfort in just standing on my own two feet and saying what I want to say. This is what I’ve gone through and I’m going to say it, because I can help somebody. I feel like I’ve had to deal with a lot of things, and I’ve come out beautifully afterwards. So I just want to be able to let other girls and women know that you can move forward.”

             – Alexis, senior biology/pre-dentistry major from Ridgeland, MS. Alexis is the ’17-’18 Student Government Association (SGA) President at JSU.