Opening Doors to College Access

Teddy Williams’18 benefitted from mentors and programs that made college accessible for students of color. Now, he opens doors for future generations through his work with the Schuler Scholar Program.

A program associate at the Schuler Scholar Program, Theodore “Teddy” Williams’18 credits his close mentors, Dr. Nicole Truesdell and Dr. Atiera Coleman, as well as his history studies with helping him identify his career path.

“Their commitment to helping minoritized students see themselves in higher education and professional careers set me up to focus on access to higher education, persistence, and transition post-BA to graduate and professional training.”

Also at Beloit, Teddy was able to curate his own history curriculum by focusing in courses and McNair Program summer research on topics meaningful to him, such as the history of Black student demands at Beloit College and double-white consciousness. That led to a deeper dive into legal history in a master’s program at Marquette University.

Studying the history of something deeply meaningful to himself gave Teddy joy, but when he returned to Beloit College two summers in a row as a McNair fellow, he realized his career direction lay not in becoming an academic, but helping youth like himself not only access higher education, but find a home in higher education that would allow them to succeed.

Unusually, Teddy held four different campus jobs concurrently at Beloit, three of which in particular, in student support services and the Upward Bound program, inform his work today.

At Schuler, he works both with students beginning their college careers and those exiting as they prepare to take their next steps. Daily he draws on the skills he developed at Beloit to do research, communicate, and create programming to meet the needs of the students he serves.

“Beloit College gave me the opportunity to develop the understanding of U.S. racial history and the communication and problem-solving skills that now enable me to not only open doors to college for marginalized students, but help them stay within those doors through graduation.”

By: Elizabeth Brewer
August 30, 2021

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