FOSSI | Meet Jaivyn Beauford: 2023 FOSSI Scholar Attending Johnson C. Smith University

Meet Jaivyn Beauford: 2023 FOSSI Scholar Attending Johnson C. Smith University

March 14, 2024

Jaivyn finished Sandy Creek High School in the top eight percent of her class earning a 4.016 along with receiving numerous honors and awards for her commitment to academic excellence and advocacy.  Jaivyn represents one percent of Georgia high school students as a 2022 Governor’s Honors Program finalist along with being named both a Posse State Finalist and a FOSSI Scholar awarded by the HBCU Week Foundation. Her academic excellence is extensive, earning acceptance into multiple nationally recognized organizations in the various areas of academia including science, math and healthcare. 

Jaivyn holds the title of the 2023 Miss Georgia HBCU Teen and currently serves as a Brown Girls Do Ballet Ambassador, promoting diversity in the arts to increase representation of underrepresented populations in ballet programs.  She is also a Gold Medalist for the NAACP - Atlanta Branch Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. She is the founder of DanceShoez, a program initiative that empowers young dancers by collecting and donating gently used shoes to dancers who may not have all of the resources to pursue dance. 

She chose to attend Johnson C. Smith University where she plans to major in Biology Pre-Health and minor in Dance. She is a James B. Duke Presidential Scholar and is passionate about aspirations of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  Jaivyn’s mantra is “I aim every day to be better than the day before…I strive for excellence".

FOSSI: Why are you passionate about pursuing a degree in a STEM-related field?

I am passionate about pursuing a degree in STEM because I am particularly passionate about science and the impact science and technology have on our future. I see myself contributing to society by being an advocate for programs, focus groups, and funding to specifically address the need for innovation in careers that promote the advancement of science.

A college education is the key to my future and I am up to the challenge.

I enjoy research and am committed to incorporating what I learn by obtaining my Biology Pre-Health degree to help advance the study, research, and activation of innovation at schools, hospitals, pharmaceutical/medical centers, etc., to improve the future of STEM.  As a dance artist, I feel as though it’s my responsibility to be a driving force in understanding and educating to contribute to the well-being of the human body.

FOSSI: Why is receiving the FOSSI scholarship important for you?

Receiving the FOSSI scholarship is important to me because a college education is essential to allowing me to learn, research, and apply my educational experiences.  I am interested in pursuing a career in STEM and I will help fill the pipeline of future doctors, engineers, scientists, educators, and other experts that help make the world a better place. I would benefit greatly from the FOSSI scholarship which is helping me pursue my dreams of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy.  

I am looking forward to taking a big step in my life to attend college and with scholarships, I am able to afford the resources needed to support me and help me achieve my goals.  A college education  is the key to my future and I am up to the challenge.  “The whole purpose of an education is to turn mirrors into windows” - Sydney J. Harris. 

FOSSI: Who is a role model that has influenced you?

A good role model is someone who inspires you to be great, motivates your potential, and serves as an example for others to see themselves in the future.  I have been honored to have a mentor throughout my high school experience.  She has been there to guide me, support me, share her mistakes, and most of all listen.  Erin Rawlings is a leader, artist, choreographer, role model, and a friend.  Her track record is noteworthy and admirable.  She has taught me so much about who I am and has shared her experiences and life lessons with me, which have all made me better.

I consider myself blessed to be able to have a mentor who understands me, knows me, and appreciates my differences.  Erin is a trailblazer and has challenged me to strive for possibilities that I had no idea I would ever consider.  My role model is my inspiration and paves the way for so many to be great!

FOSSI: Fast forward – where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I will be successfully running my own physical therapy practice along with performing in a dance company.  My practice would just be crossing the three year mark and I would be assessing my ability to hire additional staff and expand my practice.  I would be coaching and mentoring rising seniors at my local high school or community center, sharing my story of how STEM influenced my career and enabled me to achieve my personal and professional goals.  I will be known as Dr. Jai, the premier physical therapist for dance artists.

FOSSI: Share a few fun facts about yourself.

Being a part of a technique-based dance studio has changed my life!  I have been able to learn, at Norma’s Academy of Dance, what some dancers learn much later in their careers.  I am exposed to professional dance instruction, technique, studio etiquette, how to audition, artistry, responsibility, life lessons, best practices, and a host of other fundamentals to help me be my BEST!  For more than 15 years, I have put in more than 400 hours of dancing annually to help me sharpen my skills.

Hear more from Jaivyn about the first time she realized she was good at STEM.


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