About this story

Author: Jenny Cheng

Date: November 2010

People: Justin Williams, Linda Williams

Fun facts: Williams is focused on school. Asked what he'd like to know about Grahamstown, he said: "I would like to learn more about what teachers are like in Grahamstown, if they are funny or serious, and what kind of teachers Grahamstown students like. Do students know the whole class well, or do they just know a few of their classmates?"

Fowler High School senior Justin Williams prepares for school at breakfast-time in his home this past fall. He will be studying engineering in college this coming fall.

Data points: The George Fowler High School 2009 4-year graduation rate was 37%, according to state Education Department statistics. Corcoran: 58%. Henninger: 51%. Nottingham: 54%.

Fowler student engineers his future

By: Jenny Cheng

Unlike many of his peers, Justin Williams will be graduating from Fowler High School and going to college. The soft-spoken, sturdy 17-year-old hopes to become an environmental engineer, and he has set himself apart from peers to be where he is today. As of June 2009, Fowler High School’s graduation rate was 33 percent – the lowest in Central New York.

One of Williams’ best classes is math; he is one of the few students to study pre-calculus in senior year. The South Side resident scored 1430 on his SATs, and he aims to get his score up to 1800 on his next try. His first-choice school is SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to study environmental engineering. He has also applied to Le Moyne College, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh. So far, he has been accepted to Potsdam; he hasn’t heard back from ESF. This past summer, Williams took introductory engineering classes for college credit at ESF.

Williams is an active student with a busy schedule. Outside of classes, he is involved with his high school chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, which gives him the opportunity to participate in national competitions. He also works for the Onondaga Earth Corps, where he has helped with community tree plantings and sustainability workshops for children.

Williams’ grandparents instilled in him traditional values while raising him along with his older brother and younger sister. His grandparents, with their seasoned skills in parenting, raised Justin to be responsible for his family, disciplined in school work and respectful to adults. His grandparents raised him because his mother died of cancer when he was young, and his father has a mental disability and is HIV positive, therefore unable to take on parenting duties. However, Justin always makes time for his father when he comes to visit, no matter how busy he is.

“I want to support [my family] financially,” said Williams. “I just want to make sure that they are comfortable.”


  • Clintonjysyr2001

    I’m very proud of you son. Your future’s so bright, you’ve got to wear shades.

    • Amir Freed

       Well i just want to say that i am also the student of   “fowler high school” i always remember my moment in this school. facebook

  • J. Kwamboka

    wow…am inspired Williams. great things await you 

  • Anonymous

    Great things 

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    I must say…story of William is very inspiral…thanks for sharing !!!

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    Great story for other students to follow.

  • Jarina

    After reading above mentioned success and hard working story there can be no shadow of doubt that this boy deserves standing ovations along with heartfelt congratulations. The main thing he always focused is the curiosity and after math of hard work no matter how the process of educational activities like essay writing services could come in front its obvious that Williams has the ability to break the entire barring options in order to get the right way of making himself a perfect person in future. Keeping in mind the entire career progressing thoughts on could draw the conclusion he is in the right path of victory. Too much inspiring and encouraging topics. Thanks for sharing.

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