Mikayla Student Spotlights

Mikayla is a graduate of SJR State’s Florida Law Enforcement Academy. She is now a police officer with the St. Augustine Beach Police Department. In 2019, she was recognized as the department’s “Officer of the Year.”

MIKAYLA, WHY DID YOU SELECT SJR STATE FOR YOUR TRAINING? I chose SJR State for my training because it's home. With that mindset, I knew from the start that I wanted to be trained by locals. The instructors here genuinely know what they're talking about, because they've patrolled these streets.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR TRAINING? The part I enjoy most about being in this academy is the people I've met along the way. We all come from different walks of life, different demographics and beliefs, yet, we're all working toward the same goal - to become officers. Creating lasting friendships with my peers and my instructors has been the most rewarding experience.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WANT TO BECOME A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER? I knew from a very young age that whatever career I chose, it had to be something that allowed me to give back to others. While attending Florida State University, I did the typical "what moves me?" thought process, and that soul-searching led me to a degree in criminology. From there, my desire to become an officer became a need.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE DURING THE PROGRAM? One of the biggest challenges in the academy was accepting the fact that I won't be great at everything immediately. This academy taught me how to just take a step back and realize that in this field, skill comes with time.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHERS WHO MAY CONSIDER ENROLLING? The advice I have for others contemplating enrolling in the academy would be to not let fear stop them from doing great things. So many times, especially in this age, we get discouraged at trying new things or going after our dreams, because we're too worried about being good enough. You see, I'm a double minority entering this field; I'm a female and I'm black. This, alone, would lead some to think I automatically won’t measure up. Silence that doubt in your mind, and never forget that you are worthy of your dreams!

Mikayla is a graduate of SJR State’s Florida Law Enforcement Academy.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020