Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Patricia Williams is a community activist and philanthropist who has dedicated her life to empowering the youth of her community through teaching the values of volunteerism and educational advocacy. She began her involvement with young adults in her native country of Trinidad and Tobago where, as the president of a community youth group, she worked tirelessly to encourage and assist students with their educational and professional goals.
Today, Ms. Williams is more passionate than ever in her dedication to empowering the youth of her community. Ms. Williams, along with her daughter Aleatha, co-founded Youth Leaders on the Move – a not-for-profit organization that strives to promote college and career readiness, to develop leadership skills and provide opportunities for internships. The organization partners with New York City schools to create a sense of community as students and staff work together in many activities, including fundraisers, volunteerism, college tours and field trips, and events organized by elected officials at all levels of government.
For over 16 years, Ms. Williams has taken more than 100 high school students to the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Annual Legislative Conference Weekend in Albany. Youth Leaders on the Move also raises thousands of dollars annually to provide much needed services and supplies to communities in need and scholarships to graduating seniors.
As an activist, Ms. Williams works with students, parents and schools within New York City to ensure that students receive the highest level of education possible. She is constantly advocating for better schools, reduction of college tuition, and the creation of more programs to assist students in achieving their college and career goals.
Ms. Williams earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management at the University of the West Indies. She joined the British West Indian Airlines in 1981, where she worked as a Reservation Clerk in Port-of-Spain. That same year, she migrated to the United States and continued to work for BWIA in Miami until 1991. Her early years in the United States were spent working in the tourism industry, as well as working in the offices of a variety of elected officials, including Senator Patrick Moynihan.
As a survivor of domestic violence, Ms. Williams also volunteers at shelters for battered women. By sharing her personal experiences, Ms. Williams shows women that they can overcome and be successful.