STUDENTS | June 8, 2020
A Soon-To-Be Phillips Academy Graduate and Student Leader with a Passion for Helping Others
When Destiny Williams thinks back on her four years at Phillips Academy in Bronzeville, she knows she will never forget how challenged she felt by her advanced dual credit math class or the intrigue that came with weekly social studies classes centered on current events. While the Englewood native is graduating from Phillips as a top student, she knows the most important lesson she learned is to be unafraid to lean on her teachers for support.
“Having relationships with my teachers has been huge for me because when I’m in college I know I’ll have to talk to my teachers about grades and being successful,” she said. “Even though my classes were hard, I know the teachers I’ve met have made me into the woman that I am today.”
Destiny believes that every CPS high school student should have at least one class that routinely keeps them educated on what is happening in Chicago and across the world. Over her high school career, she developed an interest in directly responding to important issues by organizing events to inform and support her school community. As a sophomore, she worked with one of her teachers to plan her school’s first-ever anti-violence rally. During her junior year, she coordinated a Thanksgiving event to ensure every Phillips student could come to the school to enjoy a meal together.
“I love helping people and make them feel safe,” she said. “I’ll miss being the coordinator for these events and the person that students can come to if they have any concerns or need any help.”
On top of her focus on service, Destiny has also established herself as a student leader. She’s graduating from Phillips having been its student council president, National Honor Society vice president, and co-captain of the debate team. In particular, doing debate helped her solidify her postsecondary plan: to attend Jackson State University as a criminal justice major with the ambition to also attend law school. She had known that she wanted to attend an HBCU like Jackson State since she was in eighth grade.
“It’s going to be hard to leave a place that I’ve known all my life, but I think it’s the right choice for me because it gives me a chance to explore a different part of the world,” she said. “I’ll no longer just know Chicago, and I know that attending Jackson State will allow me to experience something new.”
Even though she made it look easy, Destiny will tell you right away that her high school experience was anything but a smooth ride. She’s excited to be spreading her wings and is ready to take on new challenges that come her way, but, at the same time, she can’t believe that her high school experience is already coming to a close.
“It was not easy staying on the top of my class for all four years. It was not easy dealing with issues at home. It was not easy traveling from Englewood to Bronzeville every morning,” she said. “It was really tough but also rewarding, and I’m just glad to say that I made it.”