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Injury led Jeneil Williams to the runway

Published:Thursday | January 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter

Receiving an injury as a high-school athlete would be devastating for most, but for Jeneil Williams it led to her following dreams of becoming an international model.

The former Vere Technical High School athlete said she was in the peak of her track and field career when a major injury struck.

"I grew up doing track and field. My aunt was pushing me more, education-wise, to be an accountant or something, but I always wanted to model," she told The Gleaner.

"So after I got injured doing high jumps, I said 'you know what, let me try it my way, let me go after my dreams', and the rest is history."

No Regrets

At the time of her injury, Williams said she was doing really well and often placed in the top 10 at the annual Boys and Girls' Championship. However, she says there are no regrets.

"I feel like everything happened for a reason. I feel that if that injury didn't happen, I would still be doing track and field, maybe doing what my friends are doing," she said, adding that her Vere Technical teammate Kimberly Williams has medalled for Jamaica in the triple jump at the World Indoor Championship and Commonwealth Games.

"I miss it a lot and I would like to get back into it, but it has grown into modelling; also because I get to work with Nike as a former athlete, and it helps me to stay in shape and understand my body more."

Now, Williams is off the track and has been doing well on the runway. Her latest achievement is being in the new L'Oreal Cosmetics campaign. Prior to that, she has done campaigns for Jimmy Choo, Nordstrom, Calvin Klein, Aldo, Sephora, Victoria's Secret and Top Shop. She has also appeared in magazines like Love, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal and Italian BMM. On the runway, she has modelled for Burberry, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Nicole Miller.

"I feel great, especially to be part of a commercial for L'Oreal. To see myself on TV is going to be amazing. I am really excited for 2015, because I think it is going to be really exciting," she said.

And upon her return to New York this week, she says she will be working on a campaign for GAP. She said she would also be working on a wellness book that she hopes to release later this year.

sadeke.brooks@gleanerjm.com