Born in St. Kitts, Jackeima Flemming had to
overcome hardships, including poverty, disability
and family tragedy, to pursue her dreams. But she
doesn’t see her struggles in a negative light.

“I am the daughter of a deceased victim of gun
violence and a street cleaner,” writes Flemming in
her bio.

“Poverty will not stop me, my disability will
not hamper me, my struggles are my
superpowers, and your struggles can be your
superpowers as well. You just gotta believe.”

Jackeima Flemming
Jackeima Flemming

Flemming is the first in her family to attend a
university, an accomplishment that takes on even
more significance when she recalls how she
struggled in her earlier school years.

“I have Marfan syndrome, which impacts your
vision and your heart. I struggled a lot in school. I
really couldn’t see to learn and there wasn’t
technology in the classroom that could help. I had
special needs, but not so much so that I had to go
to a school with special needs services. I had to
attend public school, and I just had to make my
way through it, despite the challenges and the
lack of resources,” she recalled.

Flemming’s experiences inspired her to create a nonprofit
organization, NICHE Disability Awareness Foundation. Now
in its eighth year, NICHE helps high school students prepare
for college and raises awareness of the challenges faced
by people living with disabilities.

With the help of partners in both the public and private
sectors, in 2018 Flemming and NICHE established Study
Strive Succeed, a movement dedicated to the next era of
Black excellence that supports students from Black,
impoverished communities through workshops,
mentoring, donations and empowerment sessions.

Flemming understands what empowerment can do,
having had to change her own perspective about what
was possible for her. Until the age of 15, she did not envision
herself attending college.

“Even though I was told that anything is possible, I didn’t
really believe that it would happen to someone like me. As
a kid who’s never actually seen it before in her family, in her
community, I felt like college was beyond my reach
because this is where I’m from and this is where I live,”
Flemming stated, explaining that growing up she did not
have role models of people going to college.

Jackeima Flemming
Jackeima Flemming

Changing her perspective, working hard and saving half
her salary for tuition, and pushing herself to believe in the
future she wanted for herself have all paid off, but it was no
easy feat. She hopes she can help other young people do
the same.

“I want to be a part of shifting that perspective and
changing that mindset, developing greater self-efficacy in
young people, getting them to believe that they can go
after their dreams regardless of their socioeconomic

A marketing major, set to graduate in Spring 2024,
Flemming has big plans for her future. She’s been thinking
critically about globalization and the competition it’s
creating, as well as tourism’s importance as the
Caribbean’s largest and most valuable asset. With a minor
in data science, Flemming is looking at combining her two
fields of study.

Jackeima Flemming
Jackeima Flemming at Dean’s List Reception.

“Data scientists are in demand in every discipline. With
data science, you’re able to make solid decisions in
business, in medicine, and just about anything,” she said.
“So I thought ‘If I merge marketing with data science, we
can have a more competitive advantage when it comes to
marketing our product.’”

A former Miss UVI (2021-22), Flemming has made her mark
at the University, taking on a number of leadership
opportunities both on and off campus and using her
platform as an ambassador for the school. Her
achievements include:
• White House HBCU Scholar 2023
• Miss Black International 2023
• Miss National Black College Queen 2021
• Miss University of the Virgin Islands 2021
• Local and national HBCU ambassador
• President of the UVI Student Government Association
(Orville E. Kean Campus, St. Thomas)
• Peer HIV & AIDS Educator
• Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, State Facilitator
• First-place victory in the HBCU Truist-Thurgood Marshall
Innovation and Ideation Business Challenge
• Third place in the UVI Annual Student Science Research
Symposium (making her an ECS scholar)
• UVI Student Trustee 2023 – 2024
• Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute Scholar

Grateful for her positive UVI experiences, Flemming is
planning to earn a master’s degree in public
administration after graduation. Her experience with the
Student Government Association sparked an interest in
policy and management, and “potentially a career in
legislation”, she hinted.

She is also interested in becoming a recruiter for UVI.

“I want to give back to my university. I owe that to UVI
because it gave so much to me. UVI has really impacted
and changed my life for the better,” she declared.


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