This post is part of a 10 part blog series to celebrate ACE's 5th birthday. We'll be asking ACE staff members to answer 5 questions about their time with the organization, including their favorite stories and some surprise facts about themselves. We'll profile a different staff member each day!
ACE Staff Member: Vernard Williams
Position: Associate Program Director, Mid & Southwest Regions
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with one other ACE staffer, who would it be (and why!)?
A: [Cy] Maramangalam! He'd let me talk the entire time until we're rescued!
Q: What's the funniest (or strangest!) experience you've had at ACE?
A: A failed handshake in front of 700 teens. A student in a Brooklyn school walked in front of me during the middle of my presentation. I improvised by extending my hand to him, but to the delight of 700 hysterically laughing young people, the student left me hanging! I'm a big boy, so I recovered. In fact, that same student cut in front of me 30 mins later and shook my hand, acknowledging to me and the audience that the ACE presentation was worthy of his respect.
Q: What was your proudest moment at ACE?
A: Watching a failing student evolve into the first high school graduate in his family and become a leader in his school district because of ACE.
Q: What's your favorite part about working for ACE?
A: Working with teammates who believe we can make a difference and motivating young people to believe in their power.
Q: What's one thing your students and teachers don't know about you?
A: I'm a big time introvert!
Thanks, Vernard! Tomorrow: We introduce Cy Maramangalam (Vernard's desert island pick!), and hear what he has to say about his time at ACE.