For FAMU Summer 2023 Journalism Graduate: ‘These FAMU Hills Aren’t the Easiest to Walk’

August 07, 2023
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For FAMU Summer 2023 Journalism Graduate: ‘These FAMU Hills Aren’t the Easiest to Walk’

By Javonni Hampton

Florida A&M University (FAMU) journalism student Briana Michel weathered the global pandemic and motherhood to become a Disney Fellow on the way to her graduation on Friday, August 4, 2023.

“These FAMU hills aren’t the easiest to walk in and any Rattler will tell you that. But getting my degree was so worth it,” said the Orlando native who came to the Tallahassee campus in 2019. Two years later, she became a mother.


During one unforgettable week, Michel was caring for her baby-boy while she fought through COVID-19 as she prepared for a capstone class and wrote two research papers. Michel credits her friends, family and professors who made the biggest impact on her life while in school.

“FAMU made me,” Michel said with tears in her eyes. As a mother of a two-year-old, she knows the importance of leading by example. Getting her degree was a way to show her young son that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

“This bachelor’s degree is much more than a piece of paper because it proves to me, and even more so, proves to my son, that if mommy could do it, you could do it 10 times better with 10 times more conviction, more confidence, and surrounded by 10 times more love.”


Following graduation, Michel plans to return to her hometown to join WESH 2 News as an associate producer. This role is more than just a job; it’s an opportunity to receive help from family and a chance to tell stories in the city where she grew up.

School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) Professor Kenneth Jones said Michel’s story is what sets FAMU apart. FAMU has distinguished itself from other universities due to its commitment to affordable education that helps students achieve their dreams.

 “From a single parent household, part Haitian, super high school scholar, super FAMU scholar, single mom, Disney fellow, and now on the way to become an associate producer at WESH 2 News, in a top market, I have nothing but great things to say about her,” Jones said.