Nicholas Williams – Work Ethic Scholarship Winner is Engineering a Great Future
Nicholas Williams likes video games. Always has. When he was 6 years old he played Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation 1 for the first time and he was captivated. When he got a little older, his interests varied a bit. He liked to play laser tag, basketball, paintball and, of course – video games. None of these endeavors had any sort of vocational trajectory, but to be honest Nick hadn’t given much thought to a career until middle school when the cable guy came to his house. Nick observed the man quickly and efficiently install a new receiver. It was fascinating. The guy was done and out the door in minutes. Nick watched him climb into his van and head off to the next house. He thought, “Maybe I can do this one day.”
From that day on, it was a given that Nick would become a cable guy – someday. That started to change his junior year at Huguenot High School in Richmond, Virginia. That’s when Nick heard about the Mayor’s Youth Academy at ECPI University – Richmond. The Mayor’s Youth Academy is a summer long internship designed to prepare kids to be job ready, providing them with mentoring and exposing them to entrepreneurship. According to their website, their goal is to “develop Richmond’s future workforce into determined, successful citizens who will one day become our city’s leaders.” Nick loved it, and he excelled. Upon completion of the Academy Nick was awarded 3 college credits and an iPad Air 2.
He was also awarded the Jefferson Book Award from the University of Virginia, given to the one 11th-grader who showed potential both in and out of school.
His senior year Nick took a technology class and decided he would officially give up his dream of becoming a cable guy, and set his sites on electronics. “I always liked computers. They seemed easy to me. I wanted to learn how to repair them.” Nick decided he would become an Electronics Engineer. He started volunteering at Tech For Troops Project a non-profit that breaks down and recycles old computers to raise money for returning veterans in need. He also decided he would go back to the place where he had done so well with the Mayor’s Youth Academy – ECPI University.
Nick graduated high school with an Honors Advanced Study Diploma in 2015. Thankfully his mom Lori found the #mikeroweWORKS Work Ethic Scholarship Program, which helped to pay for ECPI. Nick also works at McDonalds to help cover the costs.
In January, Nick will graduate with an Associates Degree in Electronic Engineering. He plans to go for his Bachelors, but he also hopes to be working in the electronics industry while he continues his studies, which seems likely. Several technology-recruiting firms have already contacted him, and they are patiently awaiting his graduation day.