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64 UOFLMAGAZINE.COM J essica Williams, 15A, knows the power of persistence. Williams tried three times to earn a prestigious Fulbright scholar- ship. Her diligence paid off last year when she learned she was a winner. "Receiving the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Brazil means more to me than words can FOCUSED ON FULBRIGHT Jessica Williams earned a Fulbright Award on her third try. In this photo, she is touring Spain. adequately express," Williams said. "I have had this personal goal and dream to live and teach in Brazil for over four or five years now and now knowing my goal has been realized is indescribable." Her first try was in 2015 when she was a college senior. Although she wasn't selected that year, she had an impressive backup plan: teach for the Spanish government in Madrid. She did that for two years, returning to Kentucky in 2017. Williams, a Villa Hills native who earned degrees in Spanish, politi- cal science and Latin American and Latino studies, will spend most of 2018 teaching at a public university in the South American country. "I am incredibly excited to return to Brazil and to work in a university, meanwhile improving my Portu- guese skills as well. To me, this opportunity shows the reward of hard work, persistence, dedication, and a little bit of good luck. It also shows what great mentors, profes- sors and supporters I have had as a young adult," she said. Williams is one of 110 Uof L schol- ars who have earned the prize since 2003, more than all other Kentucky public universities combined.

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