Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to spend time with the young man and young woman that has been selected by the Edward Waters College student body as Mr. & Ms. Edward Waters College.
The photographs that I have captured of this pair only tell a portion of the story of the amazing young people that they are. I only hope that you get the opportunity to meet both Imani and Jamarien. They are proud students of Edward Waters College with clear and bright futures ahead of them. I am sharing a portion of their bios and only hope that they will get the opportunity to represent Edward Waters College in the manner befitting our King & Queen.
To say that Jamarien Moore is gifted would be a severe understatement. On the contrary, the skills and talents in which this individual has sharpened have often been described as inexplicable.
A vocalist with a knack for touching the hearts of his listeners, Moore, 24, said that he’s been involved with music for his entire life.
“My interest started as a young boy,” said Moore, who was born in Tallahassee, Fla., yet was raised in nearby Madison. “Going to church with my grandparents, and different people from the community, gave me an awareness of music and connected me with God. I enjoyed seeing the choir and musicians set the atmosphere for worship. I began to go to church just to hear good music and good singing -- no preaching at all. Just recently, I started paying attention to what the pastor had to say.”
Gospel music seems to have a fascinating hold on Moore, perhaps even a magnetic grip of sorts. However, maybe there’s more to it than just mere enthrallment. Perchance there’s something deeper -- something a bit more spiritual.
“This is where I met the Lord,” said Moore, who relocated to Orlando in 2001. “As a child, my grandparents made me vow that I would serve Him until my dying day. To aid through my singing [and] bring people closer to Christ really brings me closer.”
Those are heavy words from a man so young. Needless to say, Moore is undoubtedly a Christian, and his talents have earned him special attention -- he was a finalist on BET’s hit show, Sunday Best. In addition to this, Moore has also performed in concerts with numerous gospel recording artists including Shirley Murdock, Vickie Winans, Dottie Peoples, Beverly Crawford, Pastor Donnie McClurklin, Angela Spivey, and Smokie Norful, to name a few. He’s also auditioned and performed with American Idol and Showtime at the Apollo.
Before moving to Jacksonville, Fla., to attend Florida State College in order to garner a degree in mortuary science, Moore could be found singing solos in New Bethel AME Church in Orlando which is where he said he gained confidence in addition to knowledge of the art of singing. While having the support of the reverend and congregation was touching, he credits his mother and stepfather as being the rock for him.
“My mother has always been a hard worker and a provider,” he said. “[She is] a very strong disciplinarian yet a compassionate supporter. She has always believed in me and has financially motivated me with all of my aspirations.” And those aspirations are quite huge.
When he isn't singing and lending his talents to a choir, he can be found playing the piano, shopping for snazzy church suits or serving as the president of the YPD - 11th Episcopal District of AME Church; Mr. Edward Waters College; General Board Member of the AME Church; Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer, Concurrent Intern at Postell's Mortuary in Orlando, FL; General Manager of Williams Funeral Home in Quincy, FL; Minister of Music, Worship, & Creative Arts of Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee, FL; and, President of the Kappa Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Jamarien is a graduating Senior at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fl.
Moore said that he is encouraged and often reminded that the race is not given to the swift of the strong, but to him that endures to the end. Keeping that biblical adage in mind, Moore said that he has learned to trust in God and doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“Never give up on your dream,” he said. “And never put your dream before God!”
is a native of Washington, D.C. where she graduated from Friendship Collegiate High School with honors and scholastic achievements which earned a four-year basketball scholarship to Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. While matriculating to a higher level of education, she has continued to excel in her academic studies as she gained momentum in playing basketball and balancing the scale. Imani holds to her dream as an African American female that there are bigger and greater things that she must accomplish; and, everyone on earth has a purpose, and that purpose lies deep within each and every one of us.
Recently, she became a vital part of the influential organization “Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.,” embracing the sisterhood of this organization. Criminal Justice is Imani’s Major, and during the 2015-2016 school years, she was elected Miss Criminal Justice for her academic achievement. Now that Imani has reached the milestone in becoming a college senior, she has earnestly and honestly put forth every effort in accomplishing the best that she could be.
As a result, she was honored and privileged in becoming Miss Edward Waters for the 2016-2017 school years. Imani has had a strong message for those she reaches out to. And, it is this: “It is extremely important as to how you approach the world around you and how you deal with the experiences you face each day which dictates your success and the manifesting of your goals in life. You always expect the best to happen even in the worst and most impossible situations.”