Homeless student on track to graduate HS with honors

June 6, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Williams was homeless for close to seven years.

"I just want to succeed and be that person I know I can be, and live that potential everybody else sees in me," Williams said.

Williams has living on his own on the streets of the South Side since he was in the seventh grade while attending Emmett Till Elementary School. He scored a 28 on his ACT and in July will be graduating from Lincoln Park High School.

"Don't let your circumstances dictate the person hat you want to be," he said.

A few months ago, after sleeping on the steps of a church, he went to his former seventh grade teacher, Linda Brady, and asked if he could use her home to clean up. That is when she learned he was homeless and took him into her home to be a part of her family.

"It's mind-blowing knowing that now I can breathe a little easier knowing I have someone in a home to fall back at night," said Williams. "I just want to tell her that I love her and appreciate all the things she has done for me."

"It just warms my heart," Brady said. "I did not even think for a moment and was angry he did not tell me earlier. He is the son I never had and always wanted."

Williams wants to go to college, but he needs a job. He does not have the resources to go away to school, but he is determined to do it.

"He is an exceptional individual and will beat the odds," Brady said. "He will go to college and will finish and get a masters degree."

Brady is a lupus patient. Her kidneys have failed and for years Williams has wanted to help her. Now he has set an appointment with doctors to see if he's compatible.

"I have two working, functional kidneys and if I can, I'd be more than willing to give one to her," he said.

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