Taking care of her community and others
Published 10:26 am Monday, July 5, 2021
Monique Williams believes there is no greater gift than taking care of her community for the current and future generations.
“I think that when you realize you are only one small part of a social ecology, then you can do your best to serve as an individual and influence your social network and peers, impact organizational structure, celebrate diverse culture and norms and most of all, change public policy,” Williams said. “To me, that is what defines leadership and helps a community to move forward.”
Williams, an educator, coach, consultant, and strategist recently left her teaching position with Charlotte County Public Schools as she was recently accepted into William & Mary’s School of Education psychology (M.Ed/EdS) program.
Williams, a graduate of Randolph-Henry High School, moved away for a few years to pursue other job opportunities but said being back home in Charlotte County has prompted her to do more than she could have ever imagined.
“Over the years, because of my teaching, I have had the pleasure to teach and coach some remarkable youth in our community,” Williams said. “Many of these kids became a part of my life like my own children. My girls’ basketball team will always carry a special place in my heart. I call them my “daughters” and to see them grow these last few years has been amazing, especially as my core group of girls will be seniors in the upcoming year. I can only hope that I made an impact on them as well as my colleagues. I will honestly say whether or not I impacted their lives, I can definitely say that they have truly left an imprint on mine.”
Now that she is not teaching, Williams is back to work in the private sector as an employment specialist and liaison with Hargraves Outreach, Inc., a nonprofit organization where they provide vocational support to help students and adults with disabilities find integrated and competitive employment.
With Hargraves Outreach, Inc., Williams serves individuals in Charlotte, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Halifax counties and has worked to further the organization’s work-based summer learning program for high school students in Halifax and to help secure employment partnerships and employment in Charlotte.
“I like to believe that I have a servant’s heart,” Williams said. “One of the biggest things that I am proud of is encouraging our youth and supporting them in all endeavors when possible — with athletics being a big one.”
Williams has not stopped at just helping students. While working in the foster care and adoption services in Hampton Roads, Williams met a family who wanted to foster children.
Just this past week, the family ventured to Charlotte County for the 2A Regionals Championship softball game as they were there supporting their oldest daughter, whom they adopted through the foster care process.
“The child is one of five children they adopted into their family of 10. You don’t meet many people with the willingness, ability and resources to love so unselfishly,” Williams said, “I remember the many nights spent with the family to write their home study that opened the door of their home. We have kept in touch over the years, and I have become an honorary member of their family. To see them, and their daughter, and all their children through social media and holiday cards, is always a reminder of ‘my why’ I show up willing and ready. You never know who may need you to just be present in that moment.”
To see the full A Salute to Community Heroes edition click here.