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!