TUSCOLA (WCIA) — Alyssa Williams won’t be able to hug her mom everyday as she closes one chapter of life and heads off to college but the Tuscola senior is ready for the big milestone. Looking back brings Alyssa back to another big moment in her life when she moved from Jamaica to America.

“The day before we actually came here, she asked me if I wanted to come and by the time I got home and my bags were already packed and we were leaving the next morning,” Alyssa Williams said.

“We have a lot of people here that although they’re not blood related to us are family in every sense of the word and it means so much to me and to her because not having my blood relative family here, it’s really hard,” Alyssa’s mother Lisa Smith said. “But persons here have basically adopted us and we are so grateful.”

Alyssa’s mother Lisa Smith, says she has family in American, so there was always an option to move. In 2018, Lisa’s friends encouraged her to move to Tuscola.

“When we made the decision to come here, I said to her we’re going to standout anyway so let’s just make sure we stand out for all the right reasons,” Smith said. “I couldn’t be more proud that she has done that above and beyond whatever ask or hope for we are extremely grateful.”

Alyssa certainly left her legacy, defending state titles in the 100 and 200 meter dash, while taking third in the long jump. Her 4×200 relay team also won gold last month at the Class 1A track and field championships in Charleston. The best girls’ track and field athlete in Tuscola history also left her mark on the football field in the fall for the Warriors.

“A lot of girls who do play JFL that have said oh my gosh you’re so cool you’re on the high school team,” Williams said. “It just really means a lot because there are a lot of kids that come up to me after the game and give me high fives and everything like that. That really just means something to me because even though I’m not the star per say, it still means something that those kids have someone out there they can relate to.”

Those kids aren’t her only supporters either, with her mom there every step of the way.

“My family means a lot to me, my mom especially,” said Williams. “She’s my number one supporter. She always has been.”

“Whether it’s a first place or a broken record, you’re there and no one can take that away from you and it is truly priceless and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything,” Smith added.

And that family mindset was a big reason Alyssa chose Murray State University to continue her running career at the next level. It’s a school she hopes can guide her to running for either the Jamaican or United States Olympic team in the future, as he pursues her goal of competing on the world stage.