DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A world-renowned modeling agency just signed its newest talent -- a 16-year-old high school student from Palm Beach County!
Ford Models New York and Paris announced Tuesday they signed contracts with Whizdom Williams, a Delray Beach resident and 11th grader.
"It was pretty scary, you know, walking into the Ford Studio. There's a lot of pressure. There's a lot of lights and cameras, and your heart is racing, but it's a really great community. The people there are so beyond welcoming," she said.
Williams said she hopes her modeling career will shine a light on teenage mental health issues and social justice.
"I've already learned that modeling is really hard work. It's also exciting, and I want to use this opportunity and exposure to help other people," she said in a written statement.
The socially active 6-foot-1 teen said she encourages her peers to participate in issues of equality.
"I am a very happy person, but I have struggled emotionally at times," Williams said. "I want to give teens a safe place to seek help and ask adults to give it to us -- without judgment."
The accomplished teen is also a competitive gymnast, plays high school basketball, knows sign language and has a passion for poetry.
The Ford modeling agency has represented several household names like Naomi Campbell, Christie Brinkley, Brooke Shields and Christy Turlington.
"I do also understand that there are very unrealistic beauty standards for African American women and people of color in America," Williams said.
She plans to use her words to break down barriers in the beauty industry.
"I think that it's so important to let the woman within the modeling industry know that they are more than a face, they are more than a body and that they have a voice and every right to speak out and let their voices be heard," Williams said.