“The majority of us are still in Dane County, and we’re still working in various aspects of community service: policing, nursing, social work, we’re very involved.”
Ty Williams ’12 is talking about graduates who, like him, were Community Scholars. That initiative, now in its tenth year, offers full-tuition scholarships to a select group of incoming students committed to academic excellence, community service and leadership development.
Williams graduated with a degree in Art, and now serves our community as a Madison Police Officer.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Williams says. “The Madison Police Department is special, because we value service. With my time at Edgewood College, and in my life in general, my life is surrounded by service. So it’s very special that MPD allows me to have the opportunities to go and reach out to different communities and continue in that service, as well as policing.”
While a student, a Community Scholar, and a member of the Eagles track & field team, Williams also tutored students in Madison schools, and traveled to Jackson, Tennessee for an ‘Alternative Spring Break,’ building houses with Habitat for Humanity. Even after graduating, the service continued, with a passion he discovered at Edgewood College.
“Before I became a police officer, I worked for a non-profit teaching financial literacy and employment education to high school students,” he says. “I’ve definitely kept that skill set.” He adds that, even with the demands of his professional life, he still conducts financial literacy workshops for young people.
Full days and nights mean a lot of demands, but Williams says he’s intentional about how, and more importantly why he serves. The lessons learned as a Community Scholar and student are with him every day.
“Going through ‘the crucible,’ and that’s what I call it because balancing the college life, academics, athletics, and service is a big feat. And it definitely prepared me in my personal life to move forward, and as a professional things come easier because of what I’ve gone through and how the Community Scholars program has prepared me.”