Friday, May 25, 2018

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams, junior political science major

Photographer: Samantha Owens

Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams poses on the Athens campus

Photographer: Samantha Owens

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Jordan Williams overcomes struggles to enter college

Jordan Williams' journey to Ohio University was not easy, though he is nothing if not positive. On recalling the past, he says, "I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason." 

The story begins when Williams was just 7 years old. Due to unfortunate circumstances that led to the death of his mother and prison time for his father, Williams and his three brothers were sent to live with his grandmother. 

Joe Marva Williams was 63 years old at that time and had already raised six children, each who were now adults and starting their own families. Nevertheless, she was willing to start over and do everything to keep the brothers together. 

The transition was tough for Williams who struggled to get over the loss of his parents from his life. As his former high school teacher and good friend Jason Croxall said, "They had to 'grow up' fast in their maturity and expectations." 

Williams credits his grandmother, who he calls his second mother, for helping him through this rough period. 

"Grandma holds the family down. I couldn't do it without her. She is a very strong woman. I got a better background than I would have in my former home … My dad was selling drugs at the time so it was probably a good thing that me and my brothers got out of that situation."

Williams said that his dad is a changed man from his past life. "I feel that he did the things he did because he wanted a better life for us. He wasn't satisfied with what he was given growing up in the area so he took some measures that were drastic but what he thought was necessary."

Williams moved forward with his life, making a name for him at his school in East Liverpool. He was heavily involved in sports, playing both baseball and football and took part in extracurricular and church activities. He received multiple accolades, such as sport awards. To top it off, he was always on the honor roll. Williams also had responsibilities back at home. With his two older brothers moving out, Williams was depended on to take care of his grandmother, his younger brother and the house at sixteen.

It was at East Liverpool High School where he met Jason Croxall. A teacher at the school and a good friend to the family now, Williams said that Croxall had a big impact on his life. "Anytime I needed anything, he wouldn't hesitate to help me out."

As his senior year came to a close, Williams chose to attend the University of Toledo. Due to some misunderstanding about his financial aid, he had to withdraw from the institution. Croxall, who took Williams to his orientation, tried to straighten things out. 

"By this time, classes were about to start. I was terrified. I thought for a minute there that I wouldn't be able to go to school," Williams said, who remarked earlier that he is one of the first people to go to college in his family. 

Things took a turn for the better as Williams was able to attend Ohio University. The university had stepped in, understood his situation and helped him realize his goal to attend college.

"I love it, I love it!" Williams said of his feelings on Ohio University. 

"I met a lot of great people here [at Ohio University]. I had a lot of great experiences. I'm just having a great time," said Williams about his experience thus far.

Currently, Williams is a junior majoring in political science with the goal of becoming a lawyer. "It started out as a childish dream, but it grew to a passion. I guess I can't shake it." 

Of his goal, he said that he has always been driven and that there is "nothing that's going to stop me from getting it." 

"It's something that my grandma always told me. Always be thankful but never satisfied. Always strive for a little bit more," he said.