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Alumni Spotlight: Janaiya Woods


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PeerForward Alumni like Janaiya Woods carry the flame of a Peer Leader long after they’ve completed their Workshop. This week, our Alumni Spotlight is on Janaiya, a student at Shaw University pursuing a Criminal Justice major and a Sociology minor. We caught up with her to ask about her college experience thus far and discuss why she chooses to serve as a PeerForward Alumni:


Why do YOU serve?  

Janaiya Woods at her graduation.

Being in PeerFoward as a student in high school gave me a sense of knowledge and comfort. The program acted as a helping hand for me as I transitioned to college. PeerForward gave me support, so I want to give them support in return.

What has been the best part of college so far? 

The best part of attending Shaw University so far has been the people I’ve met and the countless opportunities I’ve been given. The learning resources they provide for us as students have been such a great help as well.

How did PeerForward change your perspective of college? 

Janaiya Woods

Being a first generation college student from a low income household, I always thought that I wouldn’t make it far in school. My time in PeerForward showed me that being “low income” is just a label, and I can do things that any other person can do. PeerForward taught me about how financial struggles can be solved while in college through financial aid, scholarships, internships, and more.

How have you been a positive influence on your peers in college? 

I have been acting as a positive influence on my peers by taking the time to tutor others in my major.


What’s one piece of college advice you’d offer Peer Leaders? 

One piece of advice I would give to Peer Leaders is to use their time in college as an opportunity get to know themselves and grow as an individual.

Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.