Dr. Willie L. Williams Interview
As a servant-leader, mentor, and educator, Dr. Willie Williams is fully committed to eradicating social and economic injustices for diverse populations. He has dedicated most of his career as a social work professional and community advocate to working with youth, families, and community. For Dr. Williams, career achievements carry a different meaning; the outcomes of the lives he impacts. His extraordinary ability to relate to at-risk youth and their skill-sets, while developing youth service programs makes him sought after in the community.
Additionally, for more than a decade Dr. Williams has specialized in tackling social issues and ensuring the positive development of young people in the Big Bend area through mentoring and professional workshops. Dr. Williams has dedicated significant time towards providing recommendations and guidance on program structure to several youth organizations including Ernie Sims S.T.A.R.S Mentoring program, the Omega Lamplighters (OLL), Girls2Divas (G2D), and most notably Dr. Williams served as a National Director for Distinguished Young Gentlemen of America, Inc. (DYG). As the National Director of Internal Affairs, Dr. Williams played a vital role in establishing measurable goals and outcomes for the program while securing more than $80,000 in grants through his grant-writing skills. DYG and its mentoring services played a significant role in designating the City of Tallahassee as the winner of the All-America City Award in 2015.
Dr. Williams currently serves as lead coordinator for the City of Tallahassee’s summer youth employment program, the Tallahassee Future Leaders Academy (TFLA) and the City’s collegiate internship program. He has played a vital role in establishing numerous partnerships outside of the City government departments increasing job placement of youth to more than 200 employment placements over the past three summers. The program is directly responsible for city of Tallahassee youth between the ages of 15 to 19 in receiving more than 1,000 professional certifications over the past four years. Dr. Williams led the way in establishing new, and innovative relationships with Florida A&M University, Florida State University, and Tallahassee Community College. Where these relationships exposed youth participants to college campus tours and workshops, in addition to learning about all of the processes involved in becoming a college student. In 2018 TFLA received International and National awards from the National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, and the International City Managers Association for its cultural diversity and innovative collaboration across the City of Tallahassee. Additionally, Dr. Williams prides himself on his desire, and ability to give back to the community, often hosting fundraisers to support local community organizations. Dr. Williams
Launched WillPower Innovation Network, LLC with a vision of utilizing his extensive experience, knowledge, and skills to further educate and guide youth organizations toward becoming more effective and efficient in providing services to youth. Through his dedicated example, he encourages others to mentor and interact in youth’s lives.
Dr. Williams received his Doctor of Public Health degree from Florida A & M University, Institute of Public Health with a research focus on “The Impact of Comprehensive Mentoring for At-Risk African American Male Teenagers: A Case Study Analysis.” Through his meticulous research involving the DYG and OLL mentoring programs, Dr. Williams was able to establish the instrumental role youth mentoring programs play in the development of improved health behaviors and life-style decisions among high-risk African American male teenagers.
During his matriculation at Florida A&M University, he served as President to the Graduate Student Association (GSA), and the 2017 Graduate Class President. Dr. Williams played an instrumental role in revitalizing the presence of the graduate organization on campus and securing over $80,000 in funds to support graduate student professional development and conference travels.
With all these efforts and outreach Dr. Williams has embarked upon, also comes increased community profile and recognition. Notably as the Social Worker of the year for the Big Bend National Association of Social Workers, the Golden A.C.E. winner for Authentic Community Engagement, a finalist for the Tallahassee Democrat’s Person of the Year, and as a finalist for the Leadership Tallahassee Leader of the Year.
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