Alumnus Spotlight: William B.

William is an alumnus from our Ward 1 Achievement Center in DC Metro. He’s shown great perseverance in the face of obstacles to attend college. He’s now working to attend Morehouse in the fall. Find out more about how Higher Achievement influenced him to strive to be better.

How did you first become involved in HigherAchievement?

William: I became involved with Higher Achievement through my older sister. She was in the program. I remember going to a Thanksgiving potluck they hosted and enjoying myself. I liked the welcoming environment. I also liked how everyone at center interacted with each other.

Why did you want to become involved in HigherAchievement?

William: I became involved because I felt comfortable in the environment, but – if you ask my sister – she might say I did it because I wanted to follow her. At the time I joined I was going into 6th grade so I wasn’t really thinking of joining because it would help me in school, but I’m grateful it did.

How did Higher Achievement make a difference in your life?

William: If it wasn’t for Higher Achievement, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to attend college. The people I met influenced me to strive to be better. Through being at Higher Achievement my academics improved, and at one point in 7th grade I was further ahead in math than my friends outside of the program.

Higher Achievement taught me to want a better understanding of the world, and different cultures outside of my neighborhood.

What is your favorite memory of HigherAchievement?

William: My favorite memory is when I got to be a summer intern because I had the opportunity to go back to the Ward 1 Achievement Center to help scholars – like me – learn and improve their grades.

Tell us about your favorite mentor, staff member, and/or teacher.

William: My favorite mentor was Mr. Niels. He now works for City Year, but before that he was my center’s Assistant Center Director. In my 8th grade year, he became my Thursday night mentor.

Mr. Niels is a role model that I look up to – to this day. He was the first person to encourage me to think about going to college.

My dream college was University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the same school he went to until his sophomore year. I wrote about him in my college essay. He was the reason why I chose to intern at Higher Achievement.

What is your biggest life accomplishment?

William: My greatest accomplishment is getting in to Morehouse College. When I applied I didn’t expect to get in. Higher Achievement helped me by supporting and inspiring me to go to college.

What are you up to these days? 

William: I’m working on going back to Morehouse College located in Atlanta, GA next fall. I’m applying for scholarships right now. I want to major in Kinesiology and maybe double minor in Biology and Spanish.

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