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WSSU Class of 2022: Where are they headed?

As Winston-Salem State University prepares for another commencement, here’s a glimpse of where a few of the 2022 graduates are headed post-graduation.


Name: Dominique Graves
Hometown: Gibsonville
Major: Mass Communications

Activities you participated in as a WSSU student:
I had the pleasure of being a student-athlete playing football and golf, president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Campus Life Marketing Committee, Integrated Marking and Communications student photographer, Mister Red & White, campus tour guide, member of the Mu Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, and spokesperson for WSSU’s athletics.

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
WSSU has developed me as a person by giving me the platform to express myself. The opportunities are endless if you take advantage of the resources provided during your time at WSSU. I’ve found who I am and what I am capable of doing.

What will you miss most about WSSU?
I will miss the family atmosphere. It can be someone you’ve never met before but it’s like a family reunion just off the simple fact that you attend the same illustrious university.

What is your next step?
I will be an intern for Adobe this summer. After my internship I will be returning to WSSU to pursue a second degree and finish my last season of football.

 

Dominique Graves
Dominique Graves

G’Avonte Hayes
G’Avonte Hayes

Name: G’Avonte Hayes
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Major: Information Technology

Activities you participated in as a WSSU student:
I joined various organizations such as the Student Government Association, Free Hugs Organization, and the Campus Life Marketing Committee where I currently serve as the 2021-2022 vice president. In 2019, I traveled to Washington D.C. for the 2019 HBCU Collective to listen to federal legislators speak on funding for HBCUs. I also co-created a campus support group that connected students from Virginia. In spring 2020, I pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
Upon arriving at WSSU as a new out-of-state student, I was unaware of the possibilities. However, WSSU welcomed me and allowed me to become a strong, educated, and versatile man who learned how to advocate and provide for the community. I have had the opportunity to work with the information technology department as a student worker, which helped me develop critical thinking skills. I also worked in Career Development Services, which taught me how to dress for the workplace, create a resume, and build my workplace personality. During homecoming, I had the opportunity to speak on ABC News local Winston-Salem station, which gave me a platform to acknowledge WSSU for building me into the leader I am today.

What will you miss most about WSSU?
The Environment! The feeling of being at a WSSU event is a feeling I will always remember. Being in different crowds of people that all have the same mindset of staying safe and having a good, enjoyable time will always be hard to beat.

What is your next step?
I will be relocating to the Charlotte Metro area to work in the IT field as a Technological Analyst with TIAA Financial Services.

 


Name: Jadavian King
Hometown: Rocky Mount, NC
Major: Healthcare Management

Activities you participated in as a WSSU student:
Mister Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir; National Communications Chair on RHA; Sophomore Class President; 3x Legacy Leader; SGA Attorney General; Winston-Salem Campus Advisory Board Committee, Beta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.; Epsilon Tay Sigma Honor Society; and 47th Mister Winston-Salem State University

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
WSSU has provided me countless opportunities to be the man and leader that I said I wanted to be when I stepped foot on the campus. By no means has this journey been easy, but Winston took the young boy that I was Fall 2018 and made him into a man. I’m forever grateful for my HBCU.

What have you learned about leadership from your role at WSSU?
Throughout the various leadership roles that I’ve had the pleasure to serve in at WSSU, one thing that I’ve learned was to always remain a servant leader. Leadership is not about the publicity or what you can gain. It’s about being accessible to the community in which you are serving.

What is your next step?
I will be relocating to Durham to pursue my master's in healthcare administration while working full time as a Pharmacy Technician.

 

Jadavian King
Jadavian King

Jailyn Manuel
Jailyn Manuel

Name: Jailyn Manuel
Hometown: Fayetteville
Major: Biology, pre-health

Activities I participated in:
Powerhouse of Red and White Red Team 2019-2022 and Miss Red and White 2021-2022

Who inspires you most?
My family inspires me the most. They are my biggest supporters. All that I am and hope to be, I owe it to them for believing in me.

How has WSSU helped to develop you as a person?
WSSU has changed me in so many ways. I’m not the same person that I was when I started. I aspire for more now. I was blessed with opportunities that will follow me into the real world. I have learned that abundant things come to those that stay true.

What will you miss most about WSSU?
I will definitely miss the energy - that ram pride! WSSU has made me feel at home since I got here. I will always cherish the relationships I’ve made.

What is your next step?
I will be pursuing a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at North Carolina Central University in the BRITE program.

 


Name: Adriona Michelle Smith
Major: Business Administration with a concentration in Management
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

What student activities/groups were you apart of a WSSU?
I’ve been a member of Campus Life Marketing Committee since my freshman year. I served as the 2019-20 Senate Student Representative, 2020-21 Miss CLMC and the 2021-22 CLMC president. I was a part of the S.U.R.G.E Administration of Student Government Association as CLMC President as an ex-officio member, 2021-22.
I’ve also been a resident advisor since August 2020 and I was initiated into the Omega Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority in Fall 2020.

Who has encouraged you the most throughout your college journey?
My family has encouraged me the most throughout my college journey. I am happy to say I was blessed with the ability to lean on my family for moral support no matter the time or day. These past four years have been the most exciting, yet hardest working years of my life so far. I believe I have accomplished so many things within my time at WSSU, all thanks to the man above and my adoring family.

If you could give advice to the freshman you, what would it be?
I would tell myself to do everything you’ve ever dreamed of. I would also tell myself to socialize with others but don't let it take over your studies and vice versa. Always ask the question you asked yourself in your head. And lastly, don’t be afraid to talk out loud because there might be others with the same questions and same fears.

What is your next step?
I plan to start my career as an esthetician very early. I also aspire to obtain a master's degrees in either management or entrepreneurship to finish off my future career.

 

Adriona Michelle Smith
Adriona Michelle Smith

Nakalia Williams
Nakalia Williams

Name: Nakalia Williams
Hometown: Linstead, Jamaica
Major: Justice Studies

How did WSSU prepare you for reaching your ultimate goal?
WSSU has prepared me by providing me with mentors and life skills. I learned to value the small moments because they are tiny pieces in the entire puzzle.

Who has encouraged you the most throughout your college journey?
Outside of my family, I would say Dr. Monell. From the first class I had with him, he has pushed me to work hard while constantly reminding me to find a balance. He has been one of my pillars on this campus and I am beyond grateful to be able to know that he has mentored me into this amazing person and has never doubted me even when I doubted myself countless times.

What advice would you give someone thinking about attending WSSU?
I would tell them to get a mentor within their major and find a balance between their schoolwork and social life. Regardless of the many obstacles they may encounter, they should find joy in the small things and confide in someone, whether a mentor or professor that they trust.

What is your next step?
I will be working for the Department of Justice in New York.

 

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