SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Tonya Williams says the formula for success is simple; set a goal, make a plan, and find people who support you and your vision.
Williams’ goal is to improve the lives of others, and she has helped thousands through The Kennedy Center of Louisiana, the non-profit she founded in 2004.
The Kennedy Center provides a wide range of services including housing homeless youth, transitional housing for victims of human trafficking, recruiting, and training foster care families, and preparing students with disabilities for the workforce.
“Several years ago we started planting seeds, and now they’re blossoming,” said Williams.
Several of those seeds were planted into the life of one woman, Meagan Adger.
“Watching her motivates me to be like her and help others which I am passionate about and so is she,” Adger said.
Adger now works for Williams at The Kennedy Center. The two met when Meagan was a pregnant teenager who had nowhere to go. Williams took her in and helped her enroll in a program for teen moms.
“She went to that program completed it, did everything she was supposed to and she tells me I saved her life,” Williams said. “Stuff like that, that’s what makes me want to keep going.”
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Adger uses Williams’ example of kindness and generosity to guide her as she helps victims who have been trafficked as well as homeless teens.
“It makes me have more compassion for others and just knowing that all it took is for her to be caring, accepting,” Adger said. “She didn’t judge me, and to use that with other girls.”
Williams is a mother, licensed therapist and non-profit founder who continue to change lives, but said she couldn’t do it without her village.
“It’s the village that makes everything work and when I say the village, I mean I call on family. I call on friends. I call on Facebook people,” Williams said. “It’s the village that keeps everything going. That’s what I believe in.”