Alisha Williams

Last updated: 2007

Alisha Williams

2007 Beat the Odds Honoree

Family life has been a struggle for Alisha Williams. Born to a drug addicted mother and a father who did not know she was born, Alisha was taken in by her loving grandmother and describes her childhood years as fun. During this time, she enjoyed reading, writing and learning. Both developmentally and academically, Alisha credits her Aunt Michelle for keeping her on track. She was very strict about education and Alisha went straight home to start homework, a technique she still practices today. At the age of nine, Alisha was molested by a close family member. At the age of 14 Alisha gave birth to a daughter, Daphne. Alisha thought that Daphne’s father was only 18, but he was actually 30 years old and was subsequently arrested, leaving Alisha as Daphne’s sole provider. Two years later, Alisha’s grandmother had a massive stroke which resulted in brain damage and confined her to a wheelchair. Alisha’s adult responsibilities included caring not only for her young daughter, but for an entire household. In spite of these daunting challenges, Alisha has persisted with her schoolwork and maintained a 3.92 GPA. Charlene Kao, Alisha’s counselor at King Drew describes Alisha as, “the most resilient young adult that I have encountered.” When asked how these situations have affected her, Alisha responds that surviving such extreme adversity has made her stronger. Alisha’s goals include finishing high school and attending Sonoma State University to receive a B.S.N. and to become a R.N. and eventually a Nurse Practitioner. It is a privilege for the Children’s Defense Fund to recognize Alisha Williams as a Beat the Oddsâ recipient.