Tomeka Williams (Raleigh, NC)

Career: Literacy Coordinating Teacher for Title I schools.

Steps towards becoming a Teacher: I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from NCCU. I then went on to become a Teaching Fellow in NYC, where I taught school by day and attended school working on my Masters in Elementary Education in the evening.

1) What 3 tips would you give someone struggling to reach their goals?

#1 Never underestimate the power of God that flows through you – even when things seem insurmountable.

#2 During challenges and discomfort, there is always an opportunity to grow. So, grow through it. There is something valuable that one can learn from each and every encounter.

#3 When an opportunity presents itself, take it. Don’t ever operate in fear. You have everything you need inside of you to succeed. God built you that way.

2) Name the top 3 goals that you have achieved in your life:

#1 My latest accomplishment, becoming a Literacy Coordinating Teacher for Title I schools in my district, which allows me to support literacy for our underserved children.

#2 Obtaining my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, all while working full time and being a single Mom.

#3 Immersing myself in Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Pedagogy and presenting at the 2018 North Carolina Connecting Community of Educators Stakeholders Conference. I will also be performing on November 2019 at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference.

3) What inspired you to reach your goals?

My inspiration comes from my desire to see all black and brown children cultivate a love for reading through unique experiences that celebrate them and allow them to see themselves in what they read and write.

4) How did you overcome obstacles and reach your goals?

I overcame obstacles through prayer, my faith in God, and a commitment to my 2 daughters and my desire to show them what Black Girl Excellence looks like.

5) How do you keep your inspiration from decreasing?

My faith in God never decreases, and each time I see inequities in various classrooms that I visit, I push harder to implement change.