Ian Williams struggled to find his way academically in high school, so much so that he stopped going after just two years. He wound up completing his GED, and at the suggestion of a family friend who worked at Arapahoe Community College (ACC), decided to enroll in ACC’s Robotics & Automation Technology (RAT) Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in the summer of 2022. Now, Williams is bringing more than just his ideas to life, he’s bringing his passion to life while opening doors for his future.
“I just found my high school classes boring,” said Williams, who grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts, and attended high schools both in his home state, as well as in Connecticut, before his family relocated to Florida. “When we moved down south, I didn’t want to go to a third high school, so I dropped out.”
He attended South Florida State College in pursuit of a one-year certificate in Computer Programming, but as those courses progressed, he realized that a desk job might not be his calling.
“I’ve been looking for something interesting, and I’m always learning and problem solving in my RAT classes at the Douglas County School District’s Legacy Campus,” stated Williams, who is now 20 years of age. “I’ve already learned so much. The SolidWorks has opened a whole new world for me, I'm making my ideas come to life with computer aided design, and the electronics classes have given me skills and knowledge to troubleshoot so many day-to-day items.”
Williams, who plans to graduate with his AAS degree in May 2024, has his sights set on a few internship opportunities and is excited about his career opportunities in the future.
“Finding the right schooling is life changing, and I’ve found my passion with the RAT program,” stated Williams, who enjoys video games, woodworking, archery, working on his truck, leatherwork, and building custom models with Lego Technic. “The investment in yourself is more than worth it, and it will pay dividends in more ways than one.”