by Kaitlyn Thompson
At WVU Parkersburg, each professor, faculty member and student has a story. Damian Williamson, a current student, is just beginning to find his true calling and has taken great risks to be where he is today.
For Williamson, college is the beginning of a new direction in life. He is pursuing a RBA and stays quite busy both in, and outside, of college. Williamson is highly involved in his family and church; while also maintaining status as a youth leader and foster parent.
Through his current charity work and other responsibilities, Williamson is making the most of his college experience while trying to decide what the best educational route is for him.
When heading down a new path, it’s best to reflect on the past and set goals for a better future. Last semester, Williamson set a goal to achieve a higher GPA than what he had in high school. After dedicating himself to his studies throughout the semester, he achieved his goal, but he does not stop there; Williamson continues to strive for a successful college career through effort and determination.
“My goal is to have a 4.0 consistently and just improve in all aspects of my personal development,” Williamson said.
After being in the Marine Corp and having a successful career as a police officer, Williamson decided to return to education and chase his dreams. He found himself wanting to do more to create a better, brighter future for others and himself.
“I stepped away from a very stable career as a police officer to pursue my dream, and sometimes you just have to step out and trust and bet on yourself that you’re going to put in the work to do it…,” Williamson said.
It was the work of an assignment in two courses where Williamson realized what he felt was an important issue to address. The assignment encouraged him to think of an idea that would change the world. From this one project came a new, life altering charity: Operation Make a Difference. Williamson’s charity is focused on pairing veterans with troubled youth to be mentors, so that the kids involved can have a positive role model to look up to.
Through his hard work and drive, Williamson’s charity was created to better youth in the community. He recognized how kids need a role model in their lives through personal experience.
“All my charity is focused on helping troubled youth, and I’m very passionate because I could have very easily been one of those…,” Williamson said. “…my stepfather who had come into the picture just became that person. Without him stepping in and taking on me and my brother as his own kids, there’s no telling where I would be.”
It’s clear that Williamson has accomplished many goals in his life already. From graduating high school to becoming a marine, a police officer and more, Williamson hopes to make a real change in the world because he believes that there is no reason to sit back and watch the world fall apart.
Operation Make a Difference is Williamson’s way of giving back to the community. Without people who want to enforce change, improve bad situations and strive to make a difference, the world would suffer.
“I want people to actually to have a dream, to go after it and if they see an issue, don’t complain about it, do something about it,” Williamson said. “I just want to encourage people, if they see an issue, to be the change in the community… I’m taking a stand and going to change it as best as I can.”