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San Francisco CBS Station Follows Student’s Journey

August 08, 2016

  • Photo by Steve Hambuchen

Joe Williams BA ’16 will be the first in his family to graduate from college, taking final steps toward a goal that has put him in the spotlight for several years. Williams, who plans to graduate in August with a major in theatre and significant coursework in computer science, has always been a strong student. He and his sister were placed with a foster family as teenagers. Soon after, he was awarded a scholarship to a rigorous private high school, which he attended with the support of his aunt and foster parents.

That’s when CBS affiliate KPIX in San Francisco became interested in Williams’s story. The station featured Williams in 2012, as part of their Students Rising Above segment. And KPIX has continued to follow him, from his decision to attend college as a senior in high school up to his commencement ceremony in May.

Williams hopes to continue inspiring others to go to college and follow their passions, including his own siblings. “I will find a way to give back,” he said in his most recent interview with KPIX.  If the past few years are any indication, he’ll have plenty of people watching while he does.

He’s been putting his education to work for others for several years, using the computer science experience he gained at Lewis & Clark to teach kids in his hometown how to program through a nonprofit program called Mission Bit. “It’s focused on teaching students of poverty how to code, with a strong emphasis on trying to open up the world of computer science to women and students of color,” said Williams. “So far it’s been a lot of fun, but I have started to miss the friends and community I built at Lewis & Clark.”


joe williams 1.jpg

Theatre Department

Computer Science Program

Emily Price ’18 developed this story. 

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