An aspiring businesswoman and a future attorney are the latest Lewis Scholarship Foundation recipients seeking higher education at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Lauren King and Nacoyas Williams are part of the second cohort of students to receive full scholarships. They join eight Bahamian students currently studying at the institution in Orlando, Florida.
King, 19, who began studies in law and criminal justice at the University of The Bahamas (UB), will pursue a bachelor’s degree in legal studies at UCF.
She is focused on a career path she feels is underrepresented in the country – maritime and aviation law.
“I want to specialize in maritime and aviation law because it is underrepresented and is vitally needed,” said King.
Over the summer, she interned at a law firm in New Providence to get a sense of the opportunities available to young professionals looking to make an impact in the field.
With the country ranking in the top three ship registries in the world and with an expanding aviation sector, King believes that the jurisdiction could benefit from more people specializing in maritime and aviation law.
She hopes to ultimately pursue a Juris Doctor law degree and attend law school before returning home to The Bahamas.
“I would like to thank the Lewis Scholarship Foundation for giving me the opportunity. This scholarship means a new beginning for me; a new opportunity to actually achieve the goals that I have for myself and the goals that I have for The Bahamas,” said King.
One of five siblings, she is inspired by the strength and resilience of her mother, Christiana King, who she said despite the odds and financial challenges, continues to encourage her children’s ambitions.
Williams, 25, transferred in to UCF from Valencia College to commence her junior year as a business management major.
Williams entered the workforce for four years after high school. In her downtime, she started a lash application business. Eager to learn more about entrepreneurship, she decided to obtain a formal education in business management. She commenced her studies at UB, before transferring to Valencia College in early 2020.
“When I first came, the pandemic was a bit of a challenge because I wasn’t able to create connections and network. As soon as I was getting ready to join clubs, we had to lockdown and attend school online,” said Williams.
During the early months of the pandemic, the former board member of the Bahamas Screen and Stage Association created a short film called “Race Against Time” to shed light on the difficulties faced by children seeking to adapt to online learning. Williams is now looking forward to more face-to-face interaction at UCF to complete her degree.
“I see myself as a very successful and well-educated entrepreneur contributing as much as I can to the Bahamian economy. I really admire people that actually go after what they want instead of just doing what everybody else wants. I feel like everybody has a purpose and it’s very difficult to go after what you want, especially if it’s an unorthodox career path.”
In addition to her business aspirations, Williams would also like to use her degree to develop a talent agency to ensure Bahamians benefit fully from the local film industry.
Andrica Smith-Munroe, Lewis Scholarship Foundation’s outreach coordinator, said King and Williams have both demonstrated a level of resilience in their pursuit of education despite their challenges faced. And that they looked forward to continuing to working closely with them to see their educational goals through to completion.
Founded in 2018, the Lewis Foundation Scholarship is open to Bahamian citizens seeking to complete a four-year degree in any field of study at UCF. Applicants must have a high school diploma from a Bahamian secondary school and must demonstrate a financial need. In addition to tuition, the scholarship covers room and board, books and other related expenses. The foundation awards up to eight scholarships per academic school year. For more information, visit www.lewisscholarship.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.