Center Spotlight: Aejona Chambers
Aejona Chambers is a leadership studies certificate student with an unwavering commitment to aiding underprivileged youth.
Chambers credits the certificate program, which she started her sophomore year, for helping her learn about herself and how she can change to become a better leader and a better server to the kids that she works with.
The Undergraduate Leadership Studies Certificate is an 18-credit program that prepares students for leadership through practical experiences and service-learning projects.
“I get a big takeaway after every class,” Chambers said.
Right now, she is learning that she doesn’t have to have everything figured out and that it is OK.
“But at the same time you have to make strides to make sure that you do figure it out soon,” she said.
That is where Chambers faces some of her most difficult challenges in the program.
“The courses require you to do a lot of introspection, and that was a challenge for me because I’m very secure for the most part and I know who I am, but there are some pieces of me that I feel like I could learn more about,” Chambers said.
She advises others who are embarking on the program to be genuine about the process and that if you want to learn about yourself and how you work with others, then you’ll get the best out of it.
Chambers currently serves locally at Grace Mission Episcopal Church, where she spends 10 hours a week on average helping teach children at its day camp.
“We just finished putting on a reading academy for elementary and middle school kids where we taught them all about the water cycle, and they can reuse it,” she said.
The kids are now getting ready to go to a camp out of town, which is fully paid for, to help teach them how to pack and how to act when they’re away from their parents.
Chambers first became passionate about helping the youth during a Florida State summer medical program while in high school.
“We went into some rural communities around the area and visited some underprivileged kids, and that was my first time seeing kids in certain circumstances,” Chambers said. “Ever since that moment it touched me, and I knew that whatever I chose to do, I’m going to work with kids — specifically the underprivileged and underrepresented.”
Chambers participated in Beyond Borders, traveling to Jamaica, where she stayed at the University of West Indies and learned how their level of education is higher than the United States.
“The common knowledge level over there is way beyond common knowledge here which makes it a lot easier to have more conversations on a global scale and on an intellectual scale,” Chambers said.
Chambers is also a part of Helping Every Little Person (H.E.L.P) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and works in University Housing.
As the membership coordinator of H.E.L.P, she visits preschools in the Tallahassee area two times a month to spend time with them and teach them new things.
Chambers also attended the Women’s Leadership Institute during her sophomore year and credits the experience for helping her get over her barrier of being afraid to talk to professors.
“I think as students we feel a disconnect from our professors, especially with so many people in our classrooms, so I think them bringing the faculty in and allowing them to be vulnerable with us showed that they’re actually people,” Chambers said.
Approaching her senior year, Chambers plans to remain active in her sorority and H.E.L.P, as well as participate in an individual study conducting research in the Psychology department. Afterwards, she plans to pursue a master's degree, and then ultimately a doctorate.
Chambers has big aspirations to help the youth with her degrees.
“I want to help spread the knowledge within the communities. More specifically, I want to work with kids that have social and behavioral problems,” Chambers said. “I want to teach them how to represent and be themselves so they can teach others about themselves and be better leaders.”
— Fabuola Pierre