Jayla Williams takes up new roles on swim and student council

During the busy week of homecoming, junior Jayla Williams rushes out of swim practice to her duties as Student Council Trustee. Homecoming week can be an almost impossible balancing act between school activities, sports, and homework. It is already a difficult time for everyone who is involved.

However, Jayla has a bigger challenge than most. Before this year, she had never been a member of the swim team or student council. Other than her continued membership on the crew team, Jayla is taking on all new activities this year, but she has no regrets as she dives into her new opportunities.

“I like more of a leadership role than a follower role,” Jayla said.

Throughout her whole high school career, Jayla has been a member of the FHC crew team. This is a very important passion of hers. She is very committed to crew and loves the sport.

“Part of me thinks that I was made [for crew],” Jayla said. “I just love learning more about it; I love doing it. At every hard practice, I eat it up. I love it.”

Jayla is hoping to earn a spot as captain next year. On top of that, she is also looking to pursue a college career in rowing. While Jayla loves crew, she is not afraid to go outside her comfort zone and take risks. This year, Jayla decided to join both student council and the swim and dive team. Both of these activities are completely new to her, but she was not afraid to join and do her best.

This year, Jayla is also a trustee for her class’s student council. After participating in student council activities previously, she decided to take a chance and run for office. She won the election and earned the spot she wanted. In this position, she helps her class manage events such as dances, spirit weeks, and other school-wide activities. Jayla believes she is able to contribute many ideas.

“I feel like I have a different spark of creativity that adds to [student council,]” Jayla said. “That’s why I joined; I thought I could add something new.”

Being in this new leadership position is demanding. However, adding even more to Jayla’s plate her role on the swim team. After participating in crew with teammates senior Abby Hier and junior Katie Johnson, they persuaded her to join the swim team. However, Jayla never swam competitively. She chose to join a sport she had never even attempted solely for fun.

If it weren’t for the girls, I probably would have quit.”

— Jayla Williams on joining the swim team

“I took a huge risk,” Jayla said. “I leaped in with swim.”

Every day, swimming is still a very big trial for Jayla. She still finds herself behind due to the fact she has never attempted this sport in her life. However, she has a tough mindset and pushes through the roadblocks.

“Mentally, it’s very hard,” Jayla said. “I compare myself to girls that have been doing this for decades. I know most of the girls have been doing this for over ten years, and I’ve been swimming for less than ten weeks.”

While taking up a new sport in high school is difficult, Jayla has great teammates who support her. They make the transition into a new sport less intimidating.

“The swimming is still definitely bad, but the team makes it a lot better,” Jayla said. “If it weren’t for the girls, I probably would have quit.”

Jayla’s teammates make sure to encourage her and provide her with the assistance she needs. One of Jayla’s teammates, junior Megan Stockenauer, has been swimming her whole life. She believes Jayla is doing a fantastic job adjusting to a new sport.

“I’m so proud of her,” Megan said. “She does really well for someone who is in their first year in a very difficult sport.”

While Jayla’s recent changes in swim, student council, and homework load are challenging, Jayla takes them on with a great amount of grace. She tackles her new activities head-on and tries her hardest in each thing she does.

“Talent can only help you so much,” Jayla said. “If you put effort into everything, you’re bound to get an okay result.”