Williams named All-American Scholar

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 1, 2010

NATCHEZ — E’Keria Williams has been awarded the title of All-American Scholar for academic excellence.

And well she should be. At 12, her attitude is an embodiment of the American can-do mythos.

“I felt very excited about the award,” she said. “I was aiming for having the highest grades in my school, the highest grades in my grade.”

Achieving high grades turned out not to be a problem. When she finished the school year at Robert Lewis Middle School, her final grades included five 100s, a 99 and the lowest grade in the bunch, a 98.

Those grades were Williams just living out her life philosophy, she said.

“You have got to try your best,” she said. “You can’t settle for a little because you’re only going to get a little.”

Giving her best means always dedicating an hour a day to study.

When it’s time to focus on academics, Williams sits down with her textbook at one hand and with a pen and paper at the other.

“When I study, I write down everything I think I need to know,” she said. “My mother said that if you write something down it will help you remember, and it works for me.”

Williams said she plans to take that approach all the way through her education, and that she wants to be the best — she said her goal is to be valedictorian, to graduate the top of her class in college and to rise through the ranks in her chosen profession, education.

“I want to be a teacher, then a principal and then a superintendent,” she said.

Earlier this year, Williams had to undergo surgery for slipped femoral epiphysis — essentially, the ball of her hip had come out of the socket and had to be surgically pinned in place — but she didn’t let that slow her down.

“She would be in the bed and she would say, ‘Mama, bring me my math book,’ or ‘Bring me my science book,’” said Tammy Williams, E’Keria’s mother. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

E’Keria’s persistence paid off, and at the end of the school year she was awarded the Superintendent’s Scholar award, recognition for all As for all 9-week grading periods and the President’s Education Award, among many others.

When she’s not working toward academic excellence, E’Keria is a member of the Alpha and Omega Steppers, a member of the choir at Beulah Baptist Church and is teaching herself how to play piano. She hopes to one day play for a church.

She also works as a summer tutor for children ages 3 to 11.

E’Keria is the daughter of Ernest and Tammy Williams.