Rikki Denice Williams
Individual Training Scholarship Program
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Rikki Denice Williams first learned of Mobile Works through word of mouth—and just at the right time. Throughout high school, Williams never had a desire to further her education beyond her high school graduation, never thinking of technical schools and certainly not thinking of attending a four-year university.
But when her parents divorced shortly after Williams graduated, she saw her own mother go through life changes and post-divorce difficulties that made Williams reconsider her own life plan. According to Williams, “My mother was caught between a rock and a hard place. Even though my brothers and I were of age, we still needed her support so my Mom was forced to into the job market with no experience except for being a housewife for over twenty years.”
Williams’ mother decided she would apply to nursing school, even though she was extremely hesitant because of the challenges and hardships that would present. That is when Williams decided to submit her own application for nursing school at the same time as her mother sent in her application. Williams says, “We thought it would give us a boost to lean on each other. Although we had a long hard road ahead of us, we were determined to press on. I was so proud and elated when my mother completed her nursing courses first! She was able to support us economically, so then it was my turn to work part-time and focus on my Medical Surgical Registered Nursing curriculum at Bishop State Community College and on my clinical rotations at Mobile Infirmary Health Center.”
Williams knows that they would not have been able to manage the financial aspects of their decision without Mobile Works. The Individual Training Scholarship she received allowed her to focus on her studies, rather than the money needed to fund her courses.
That focus paid off. On December 10, 2005, Williams received word that she had passed her final exam required to complete her nursing studies at Bishop State. Elated as she was, Williams soon remembered that she had a State of Alabama Nursing Board NCLEX exam to pass as well!
Nervous as she was about passing the state boards, Williams once again became worried about money, when she needed to pay testing fees to take the board exam. When Mobile Works stepped in to take care of the testing fees, Williams could once again focus solely on her studies. She took the test on Thursday, March 2, 2006. By then Williams was working a the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at USA Medical Center and her fellow workers had warned her of the flood of emotions she would experience until she learned whether she had passed the exam. But nothing prepared her for the emotional toll it took on her—from utter depression and sadness due to being worried about her possible failure to ‘what-ifs’ about questions she could have answered differently to sheer relief at being completely finished with exams. Needless to say, the week and a half of waiting for the results shattered her already frayed nerves.
On March 13, 2006, Williams’ fears were allayed and she was able to call all of her friends and family with the good news, “I passed State Boards!” Williams continued working as a newly minted Registered Nurse (RN) at USA Medical Center until June of 2006, when she resigned her position to move closer to family in the state of Georgia. She is continuing her career as an RN in Critical Care Nursing in Georgia with work in an ICU and Emergency Room.
Williams credits her mother with being her inspiration to go into nursing in the first place, for successfully leading the way by becoming a nurse herself and for helping to support her economically and emotionally as she pursued her own career in nursing. But Williams also credits Brenda Bright, Case Manager Coordinator at Mobile Works, for believing in her and making a difference.
According to Williams, “Semester after semester, I sat at Brenda Bright’s desk thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this any longer’ and Ms. Bright was also so encouraging and confident that I could do it. It meant so much to me, as did the financial assistance that I received from Mobile Works. It helped me get through school and achieve my dreams of supporting myself with a career as an RN. To both Brenda Bright and Mobile Works, I say, ‘Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!’ Without you I would not be a Registered Nurse today.”
At Mobile Works, we feel privileged being able to help deserving people like Rikki Denice Williams change their lives and achieve their dreams. We thank Rikki Denice Williams for being such a great success!