May 12, 2016

Community Champion

Josie Alston Williams ’16 has carried a quote with her throughout her years at Guilford, using it for inspiration when she was exhausted from a late night of studying or a long week of work.

It’s something a faculty member said in Josie’s first course at the College: “The question is not what are you are going to do if you get your degree. It’s what are you going to do when you get your degree.”

Josie, an adult student majoring in Community and Justice Studies, already has an answer for that question. Earlier this year, while finishing her degree requirements, she started working for the Greensboro Housing Coalition as the project team coordinator for the Cottage Grove Community Centered Health Initiative.

“I’m working to build up community and economic development by empowering residents, promoting community engagement and upstream efforts that encompass health, education and economic stability,” she said.

She’s applying what she learned in Guilford classrooms and her internships in Washington, D.C., and Greensboro. She’s supporting Cottage Grove residents in pursuit of their vision for the neighborhood — better housing, jobs, English lessons, vegetable gardens, safer parks and more.

Graduate school in public administration may be in her future, but right now Josie is exactly where she wants to be. For that, she’s grateful to Guilford.

“There is no doubt in my mind I have been fully equipped to do this work because of my time here at Guilford,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who helped me, encouraged me and knew deep down that I would go on to do great things. Thank you!”