The Rapidian

Shining bright - Kaniquia Williams' journey to graduation

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Kaniquia Williams overcame hurdles in school with the help of three educators.
Kaniquia Williams' success is due to the most important person in her life: her mother.

Kaniquia Williams' success is due to the most important person in her life: her mother. /Believe 2 Become

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 “Don’t mess up your freshman year! It will affect you so bad your senior year!”

Kaniquia Williams is a vision in orange and black, her Ottawa Hills softball uniform. Or her Ottawa Hills marching band uniform. Whatever uniform she’s wearing, Kaniquia’s high energy and vibrant smile can outshine it—even the brightest orange.

On the rare occasions when her energy and smile fade, her music teacher, Ms. Vanessa Allen, steps in. “She helps me out whenever I get discouraged,” Kaniquia says. And two other educators—Ms. Carter and Mr. Burke—were instrumental in helping her find college options and get a scholarship, despite a few slip-ups her freshman year.

With all the support, Kaniquia has enrolled in Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where she will study business and accounting. As she heads to college, who is her biggest supporter of all? “My mom,” Kaniquia says. “What has she done? EVERYTHING.”

Check our more stories from the GRPS Class of 2011 and tell Grand Rapids students that you believe in them by visiting


*Contribution from Joe Jones/Believe 2 Become

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