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Charter Alumni Spotlight: Cheyenne Williams

December 01, 2021

Charter Alumni Spotlight: Cheyenne Williams

Each month, the GVSU Charter Schools Office spotlights a current GVSU student who graduated from a GVSU-authorized charter public school.

This month, we are pleased to introduce you to Cheyenne Williams. Cheyenne is a junior at GVSU and is studying studio art. Prior to coming to GVSU, Cheyenne graduated from University Prep Science and Math (UPSM) High School in Detroit.

Outside of class, Cheyenne is a building manager at Laker Village, an on-campus living community at GVSU. She also is avid about art and illustration.

Cheyenne recently took some time to share a little more about how her experiences at GVSU and UPSM have shaped where she is at today.

Tell us about your time at UPSM. What did you like about UPSM High School?

Well, in school I worked hard to be considered a “perfect student.” The teachers at UPSM are the most memorable because they pushed me to do my best while they prepared me for college.

How did UPSM High School help you prepare for life after you graduated?

The teachers were really specific about their expectations and they would give us a pretty big workload. The teachers expected a lot of us but it was well worth it. And they were very personable when it came to my needs. They made it seem like there was a safe space for us as students to come to them with questions or issues. They acknowledged my worth and gave me confidence to succeed.

What advice would you give to current students at UPSM High School who are preparing for life after high school?

I would tell them to be excited for what is coming next. Also, I would recommend to build strong study habits while you are still in high school. It will benefit you in the long run.

When did you first learn about GVSU? What did you like about the university?

The first time I heard about GVSU was through an on-site admissions event in the Eastern Market during my senior year. I never toured a campus before applying either. The small class size was important because I wasn’t used to being around a whole lot of people.

What have you enjoyed so far at GVSU?

Everything! I truly feel like it has changed my life. The campus looks beautiful. I love the environment and how small the class sizes are. I really love housing that is offered here. Grand Valley provides amazing opportunities that other colleges do not have. Even the food is great!

If you could choose one thing to be the most beneficial tool that you have received since attending Grand Valley, what would it be?

It would most definitely be the resources. For example, when I broke my laptop last year, nothing changed. What I mean is that I was able to still get to the technology in the many spaces that are available on campus and complete my assignments to stay on track.

What type of goals do you have for yourself once you graduate?

I want to illustrate children’s books. Growing up, I have loved the illustrated aspect of all reading. Seeing the covers of books like Junie B. Jones is what sparked my interest. One day I want to be able to see my name on the cover of books.

What is something you’ve accomplished that you are really proud of, whether it occurred at UPSM or GVSU?

I am really proud of turning my grades around. During my first year, I had low GPA. I took the time to really reflect on what I needed to do to succeed. The amount of freedom that you receive in college is shocking but I had to learn how to master time management, stick to deadlines and really control my time and priorities. I changed my major as well, to something I was much more passionate about and I knew I would succeed in. I also thought it was best to change who was in my circle of friends.  

What is one piece of advice that you have received from a GVSU faculty/staff/ or mentor that will forever stick with you?

The piece of advice that sticks with me is don’t stress. Learn to take your time to think and act clearly. This not only goes for school but for life in general.

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Page last modified December 1, 2021