ST. PETERSBURG – Laughter has become an effective coping tool for Jakiya Acoff. For her, laughter is the best medicine. But moving from Tallahassee to St. Pete six years ago was no laughing matter.
Along with her mother and sister, she describes the move as a rocky roller coaster experience with no seatbelts. The move made a significant impact on her.
“When I first moved down here, I was still in the beginning stages of my life, learning from my environment and people around me,” said Jakiya. “I was young and hadn’t faced any situations like this before. I had become accustomed to an environment that I knew, and now that was changing.”
Jakiya has adjusted well to the frightful experience and is now a 2017 graduate of Northeast High School in the Academy of Finance. Despite her initial fears, she became quite involved in many school activities.
She was the vice president of Hi-Y Club and the Psychology Club. She also became a leader in Girlfriends Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Student Government Association and Pep Club. As a leader, she helped to plan out the meetings and social outings with the group. Jakiya also helped to decide what community services activities the groups would participate in.
This was quite an achievement for the scared young lady who migrated from the capital city of seven hills to the home of the Rays. The achievement she is proudest of is gaining her certifications for Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint and Excel and being Student of the Month for October.
Other than the move, there were other challenges. Her greatest high school challenge was constructing an essay. She revealed that she gets writer’s block.
“I have faced this challenge my entire time during my school year. With each new year, I get a little better, but I still struggle at times.”
After giving it some thought, she realized the hardest part about writing an essay is figuring out how to start it and making sure it makes sense. She learned without making an outline it could be a struggle having enough valid information to make strong points. She sought help from mentors so that she could gain a better understanding of writing styles and improve her skills.
Jakiya will need those skills since her educational goal is to attend Florida A&M University. She has been accepted into the School of Business and has her heart set on going further into the Industry’s Professional Master of Business Administration program.
With a double major in business administration and accounting, she sees this prestigious program could provide the necessary foundation to achieve academic excellence and professional expertise in a growing global economy.
“I have experienced a lot of new things and learned a lot about myself. I have opened up a lot as a person and matured more in different situations,” said Jakiya.
She is not as shy around new people anymore as she used to be and is slowly overcoming her fear of speaking in front of people. Being accepted into the Professional MBA program, Jakiya will graduate in five years with a Bachelor’s as well as my master’s degree. Her goal while in college is to obtain an internship at a business company.
Laughter is the best medicine and especially when your life has been interrupted and you are miles away from your comfort zone. When you tighten up the seatbelt of life, you might find that the roller coaster ride may just carry you to the highest hills.