Otha William currently serves as program coordinator for College 4 Careers, a college and career readiness program that serves high school youth. He was first introduced to Future Foundation through a service learning project while a student at Morehouse College. Once the project concluded, Otha came on board as a volunteer. The staff was so impressed with him that once a job became available,
Otha was offered a position on the staff. That was two years ago.
Throughout his tenure with Future Foundation, Otha has served in numerous capacities. As a young adult, one of his greatest strengths is his ability to connect with the youth. Having been raised in inner-city Chicago, he understands the difficulties of growing up in a tough environment. “I didn’t have anything like Future Foundation when I was young”, he says. “And I always tell the students that if I had something like this in my life when I was coming up, there is no telling where I’d be.”
Otha is proud of what they’ve been able to achieve through College 4 Careers. “We’ve helped several kids get to college. For our kids, the biggest challenge is just getting them to understand the steps it takes in order to achieve a particular goal, and we’ve seen some real success in that area.”
After three years with the organization, Otha is grateful for the lessons of the job. “I’ve learned about professionalism and work-life balance. I’ve learned that helping kids get to the next level takes a lot of hard work. “ He feels that the greatest lesson he’s learned through his work with Future Foundation is resilience. “It takes a specific type of person to do this work. Sometimes the kids are really receptive, and sometimes it takes a while to sink in. Sometimes things get a bit challenging, especially with the teenagers, but you can’t give up.”
When it’s all said and done, Otha draws his motivation from the youth. “I want them to become better people, and if we can give them just a little push, it can take them miles in their life”.