Khaliah Williams’ new job is an important one that will improve the lives of Escambia County’s most vulnerable and those in need.
On March 20, Williams, a Pensacola State College alumna, started work as an office assistant for the UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County. She is assigned to the Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
The UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County aims to enhance Escambia County residents’ quality of life by providing scientifically based agricultural, human and natural resource knowledge to residents through outreach and various programs.
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is the nation’s first nutrition education program for low-income families and individuals. EFNEP used education to support efforts toward self-sufficiency, nutritional health and well-being.
“We go out into the community and educate people about the nutritional wellness of a variety of foods,’’ said Williams, who earned a Bachelor of Applied Science – Human Resources degree from the College in 2020.
She earned an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration from Pensacola State in 2018.
“We teach a variety of different subjects – everything from information about which foods have proteins and nutrients to how to cook healthy and how to save money through smart shopping.”
Williams also operates her own service-and-delivery business, Deliver Ease By K, which offers services ranging from personal shopping and restaurant pickups to dog sitting and personal errands.
She is also still active with PSC today. Williams is a five-year volunteer with Dr. Garrett T. Wiggins “Live Your Dream” and African American Memorial Endowment Scholarship fundraising efforts.
“Khaliah Williams is a shining star whose beautiful smile illuminates a room,” said Dr. Rameca Leary, PSC’s College Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives, who also heads up the scholarship fundraising efforts. “She was an exceptional student who set high standards for others to follow. Her tireless commitment to excellence is also evidenced in what she does outside the classroom.”
Williams, who is married with two sons, credits Pensacola State with helping her throughout her collegiate career.
“I am so thankful to the PSC Foundation, our donors, (PSC President) Dr. Meadows, Dr. Leary and everyone else at PSC,’’ she said. “I graduated debt-free thanks to the many scholarship opportunities.”
Williams joins two well-established PSC alumni at the UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County. They are Pensacola Junior College alumni. PJC became Pensacola State College in 2010.
“It’s always going to be PJC to me,’’ said Dorothy Lee, Extension Agent – Family Consumer Sciences. “That’s what it was when I was a student there.”
It was also PJC when Lee taught various home economics and nutrition classes at the College as an adjunct in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“My specialty is food science,’’ said Lee, who would continue her education at the University of West Florida after finishing as a student at then-PSC. “I teach food preservation, a lot of canning classes. There is a lot of food safety education that I teach.”
Lee also teaches about the state’s cottage foods requirements, guidelines, and diseases associated with diet and nutrition. She started work with the UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County in the 1990s and was the organization’s first intern.
“The most rewarding part of my job is teaching,” she said. “I teach a lot of classes to limited resource individuals, and seeing them progress and move forward is important.”
Chinesa Sunday’s time at the Escambia County Extension is ending. She is an EFNEPT Nutrition Educator who retires from the UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County on April 27 after 40 years of service.
She started her collegiate career in Alabama but finished at then-PJC with an Associate of Science degree in Home Economics. She even appeared on College brochures advertising home economics classes at the College.
“I started off studying office administration, but that’s not really my field,’’ she said. “I enjoyed cooking and sewing and home economics. I remember I enjoyed the classes at PJC.”
Though she’s soon retiring, she treasures her impact on young people in Escambia County.
“Some of the children I have taught will come back years later and say they’re cooking this now, or they’ll ask me for a recipe they remember from long ago. That’s what’s most rewarding.”