Beat the Odds 2017: How Isaac Williams Overcame a Chaotic Childhood

Isaac Williams has struggled with numerous issues since he was a young boy.

He doesn’t have a lot of pleasant memories of the last 10 years. He was bullied, and not accepted for who he is. This prompted him to run away from home once, and spend some time living with his grandmother. Throughout all of the chaos, Williams took his responsibility as a big brother seriously, and took care of his two siblings.IsaacWilliams

Williams has worked very hard to earn good grades as a student at Mayo High School, and is enrolled in the Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program, which allows him to take Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) courses. He is also captain of a robotics team, which has allowed him to develop skills in coding and software, both passions of his. His fondness for robotics has pushed him to pursue a career designing software for medical use.

He is also a lifeguard at the Rochester YMCA and says it’s a fun job. His one rescue to date has been a centipede that was at the bottom of the pool.

Williams is grateful to all of his teachers, especially Karin Wright, an RCTC instructor and his nominator for the Beat the Odds scholarship. According to Williams, “her nomination for this scholarship has given me a brighter outlook.”

Williams recently did a speech in her class and shared his personal struggles publicly, which has given him a desire to help others to feel a sense of hope about their own lives.

He believes that going through the process to become a Beat the Odds scholarship recipient has helped to give him even more encouragement to continue to pursue his dreams, and not be defined by the nadir of his life.

The Beat the Odds scholarship program awards deserving students from the Rochester and surrounding areas, a $2,500 scholarship to attend Rochester Community and Technical College. To be eligible for a Beat the Odds scholarship, candidates must be a high school senior or a first-year RCTC student who has overcome obstacles such as personal or family hardships, abuse, neglect, poverty, disabilities, or language and cultural barriers. Despite their challenges, these students have persevered and endeavored to become personally and academically successful and are preparing for the next step in life of attending college.

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