30th Anniversary Gala Snapshot - LaTanya Williams
Below are remarks made by LaTanya Williams, a program participant at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs, at our 30th Anniversary Gala.
Good evening. My name is LaTanya Williams, and I am a lifelong resident of North Philadelphia. Almost 10 years ago, I was on my way to visit a friend when I made a wrong turn onto Judson Street. I saw a big, beautiful building and went inside. I asked the person at the front desk, “what is this place?” She told me it was the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs.
They had education and employment programs, and an after-school program. As soon as I heard after-school, I asked “how I can I sign up?” You see this was one of the hardest times for me and my family. I was a single parent with four kids ranging from ages 8 to 15. I was working three jobs to make ends meet, and I needed help. At the Center, my children were able to get tutoring after school and take field trips on the weekends.
Through a partnership with Jefferson University, they had mentors who became important companions and role models.
I knew that I had done something right when my children complained when school was closed because they didn’t get to go to the after-school program.
Later they got involved in the College Access Program or CAP. Through CAP they were prepared for college and applied for scholarships. They were also able to expand their horizons.
My oldest son who is super shy, picked a Digital Music course. At the end of the year, I watched him perform a song that he had written. I could hardly believe my eyes. He still writes and performs today. He had that gift in him, but he needed the encouragement and tools to bring it out.
He then went on to Penn State. My middle two are going to Gwynedd Mercy University and Northampton Community College.
And my youngest daughter is a senior at Merion Mercy Academy. All my children have excelled, and I know they couldn’t have done it without the academic and financial support of the Center.
I was honored to speak at the CAP graduation last spring, and when I looked around the room, I realized how many families I knew because I had referred them to the program. I just can’t stop spreading the good news!
The staff and volunteers at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs have become like family to me and my children. So when I thought I had a made a wrong turn on that day almost 10 years ago, it turns out it was the best move I could have made for me and my family. Thank you, Mr. And Mrs. Roberts, Comcast and especially Mr. and Mrs Honickman for your commitment to our community!