After graduating from high school, Ethel Howard Williams enrolled in business college with the intention of becoming a secretary. She further flourished as a government secretary for five years before pursuing her true passion in education in order to help others in need. Subsequently obtaining a Master of Education in special education, which helped separate from other educators, she found success as a special education teacher in Massachusetts for nearly eight years. Ms. Williams later excelled in her position as an education specialist for the San Diego Unified School District for 31 years. Now retired, with a mission to contribute to her community, she serves on the board of the Tomoliam Program and the Western State Golf Association. She also volunteers at an after-school tutor called Harmonium, Inc., in San Diego, serving on its board of directors.
In addition to her professional endeavors, Ms. Williams was previously inducted into the Western State Golf Association Hall of Fame after serving nine years as its secretary. In the coming years, she wants to continue to contribute to helping people. For as long as she has breath in her lungs and strength in her hands and legs, Ms. Williams will continue to help people. Her mission now is to give back to the community. She really cared about the children who could not keep up with the other students, devoting much of her time to them. She was proud that her students went on to pursue college, as she always told them that they were somebody.
Ms. Williams attributes her success to her parents, who raised her to value education and showed her the importance of having a proper education. She grew up with four brothers, which led others to believe she was spoiled from the way her father treated her. Her father, who worked in education, was a great influence on her, guiding her on her way to become a teacher. Her mother, who grew up in the West Indies and immigrated to the United States, was a stay-at-home mother who worked hard to raise five children. As an adult, Ms. Williams took in a 7-year-old foster child while sitting on a board, then raising her as her own adoptive daughter and put her through college. She also has another biological daughter and recently, her granddaughter qualified for the Olympics in soccer.
Ms. Williams’ advice to any young woman looking to pursue her field is to keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other.