Resident: Janiya Donson
House: McKaig-Malthouse

My name is Janiya Donson and I am from Pensacola, FL. I grew up in a middle-class home of downtown Pensacola with my mother and two brothers. My mom taught me to be tough and resilient throughout high school and I am continuing to make her proud every day. Throughout high school, I was a varsity cheerleader and volunteered to help train cheerleaders at my old ballpark. I would teach them little things about being there for each other and teamwork. Giving back to my community brought joy to me knowing that I could change someone’s life by doing something so little.

Since I was 12, it was my dream to go to Florida State University. In high school, I worked hard to get the best grades and get all the community service I could. When I was accepted my mom was happier than I was because she wanted better for me and my brothers. Initially, I was scared to go off to school because I was scared of being away from my mom and not having her make my decisions for me. When consulting with my guidance counselor about possible scholarships, she told me about Southern Scholarship Foundation. I applied and was ultimately accepted; however, I was reluctant about accepting the scholarship because of the thought of living with 16 other girls in one house. I thought we would all clash and bump heads, but I was totally wrong. The other 16 girls living in the house with me have become some of my best friends. We eat together, live together, and support each other. I eventually chose Southern Scholarship Foundation not only because it was a scholarship, but also because of the friendships and networking opportunities I would make here. SSF has given me a sense of belonging with a second family away from home.

I am currently in the Air Force ROTC at Florida State University. Between 6 am workouts to the daily duties of being house secretary and also being a student, my days are pretty hectic. I am elated to have a nice, loving home to come to when the days become longer. After graduation, I would like to become a Nurse Anesthetist in the United States Air Force. The medical field has always interested me, ever since I was a little girl having to be checked and bandaged after cheerleading injuries. I found it interesting what the medical trainers would do to help me feel better.

I want to become a nurse because I want to help those around me get better; I care about the well-being of others and helping them improve their lives. I will also get the opportunity to make a positive impact on a different individual everyday. With me being in the Air Force ROTC, I would like to commission into the Air Force and fulfill the duty they have for me. It will be a great way for me to serve my country and travel the world.