23 Year-Old Joshua Williams Graduates from College Despite Homelessness; Starts Scholarship Fund
It’s graduation season. In the coming weeks we’ll read about impressive young people who have already made their mark on the world.
Well, Joshua Williams is one of those students.
Williams, a senior at Bethune-Cookman College, will graduate this weekend with a degree in criminal justice.
Even more astonishing? Joshua spent most of his college career without a place to live:
Williams grew up with his aunt in Miami where he was surrounded by violence and crime — his younger brother, who was only 16, was found dead in a lake in 2011.
Through hard work and some help from a teacher, Williams was accepted to college, but the costs were high. Each semester, Williams would have to pay roughly $10,000 for tuition, room and board.
To manage expenses, he told the university that he was living off-campus after his first year. In reality, he had no where to stay. “I knew I was homeless, but I said to myself I’d rather be in Daytona homeless trying to go to school than ever go back to Miami,” he told the News-Journal.
Williams survived much of the next two years sleeping in unlocked trucks or on friends’ couches. Some ramen from a friend or a borrowed meal plan card kept him fed and extensive notes kept him afloat in class because he couldn’t afford textbooks.
“I was always worried about my next move — Where would I stay? How long can I stay here? When is my family going to send me money?” he told the news source.
It wasn’t until his junior year that Williams revealed at a school assembly that he was homeless and an advisor was able to secure him a place in a residence hall.
Read more at the Huffington Post and the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
What’s more, Joshua has started a scholarship fund to help students in need pay for textbooks!
Congratulations to Joshua on his graduation and for giving back to his school community!
You are an inspiration!