Where Are They Now? An Update from the Class of 2014

As we continue our alumni series, “Where Are They Now,” travel in time with us as we follow our graduates on their journeys and discover how An Achievable Dream made a positive impact on their lives. Also featured in this series are each graduating class’s sponsor to share their inspiration for supporting their class and a reflection from AAD president and CEO, Dr. Lee Vreeland, on each alumni. In this feature, we are highlighting Class of 2014 graduate, Ari’l Williams.

Tell us where you are, what you’re doing now, and the accomplishment or life milestones you’re most proud of!

After graduating college, I returned to Newport News to give back to my community by working at An Achievable Dream Middle and High School as the Athletic and Events Coordinator. My current job allows me to interact within the lives of students and to be a positive role-model within their lives. The life accomplishment that I am most proud of is completing my bachelor’s degree in four years, graduating from Virginia State University.

What about An Achievable Dream do you feel most prepared you for the career and life you have now?

An Achievable Dream prepared me for my career and life now by giving me the tools to exceed my own expectations and to respect the core human values that we act upon on a daily basis. AAD has allowed me to come back home to be even more of an influence than I have ever imagined. Being a part of the program has given me opportunities to be more than what society has placed on me.

What is next for you?

My next steps in life will be to apply for and start my master’s program. I have plans to study counseling and to continue my work within the school system. I enjoy being able to provide and guide students with the proper tools to succeed.

From our President and CEO, Dr. Lee Vreeland:

Ari’l has an old soul and a heart that makes you smile instantly! She is one of the hardest working young ladies I have ever known and it has been a true pleasure to watch her journey. Ari’l will make a terrific counselor as she immediately connects with young people, recognizes their challenges, and celebrates their accomplishments. An Achievable Dream is very fortunate to have her on our team! It doesn’t get any better than a Dreamer changing the lives of Dreamers!

– Lee Vreeland, Ed.D., President/CEO, An Achievable Dream

Continue reading to learn about why the graduating class sponsors from 2014, Mike and Nancy Petters, chose to invest in the Dream.

We continue to be inspired by the students in the class of 2014. It’s wonderful to be able to learn how they are achieving their dreams! We think of them fondly, always wishing them well in all they do.

– Mike and Nancy Petters