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Valedictorian prepares for college life

Ben Hillyer/The Natchez Democrat — Ferriday High School valedictorian Bobbie Williams was a cheerleader all four years of high school and performed at the 2012 Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly listed the total amount of scholarships Bobbie Williams has earned. The information is correct below. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.

By Mollie Beth Wallace

The Natchez Democrat

FERRIDAY — Academic excellence is something that comes naturally to Ferriday High School’s valedictorian Bobbie Williams, who has been making straight As since she was in the first grade.

Her parents, Zilika Williams and Tyrone Milligan of Ferriday, were not surprised to hear that Williams was named valedictorian.

“It was never a ‘you have to do this’ sort of thing,” Williams said of her parents. “But I always got support.”

Besides the support of her parents, Williams also received encouragement from her teachers.

“(Teachers) were the source of the motivation for me graduating with honors,” she said.

Williams was offered five different collegiate scholarships, totaling $186,964. Despite offers from Baylor University, Southeastern Louisiana University, Northwestern State University and Centenary College of Louisiana, Williams accepted a full scholarship from Alcorn State.

“I made campus visits,” she said. “I liked the atmosphere there.”

Williams said she is looking forward to experiencing college life.

“I got a taste of dorm life when I went to cheerleading camp,” she said. “Until 18 I was pretty sheltered. It will be interesting.”

Williams was a cheerleader all four years of high school, and she was named a UCA all-American in 2012, which entailed performing at halftime of the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2 in Orlando, Fla.

As a former cheerleader, Williams looks forward to attending football games at Alcorn State this fall.

However, Williams said she knows she is going to have to work hard and study in college.

“There are a lot of valedictorians,” she said. “I will be in competition most of the time.”

Williams said her goal is to graduate from Alcorn with honors, and she plans to study speech pathology.

“I always said I wanted to help people,” she said. “This will help me fulfill that promise.”

The oldest of nine children, Williams said she will miss her four brothers and four sisters.

She said she will also miss having her friends to lean on every day.

“I want to organize a class reunion, just to see how much my class has progressed,” Williams said. “They only pick a certain number, but I think my whole class is intelligent and ambitious. We will do good things in this world.”

Williams will be enrolling at Alcorn State as an honor student, and she said she hopes to maintain her straight-A average.