From the Kitchen to the Courtroom

Hi! My name is Kelsi Williams, and I am a law student at the University of North Carolina. It still blows my mind every time I tell people that because I am so unbelievably amazed at the way God has ordered my every step in order to get me to this place. I come from a small town called Lincolnton, NC, and I grew up as a preacher’s kid along with my little sister and our many dogs. My favorite things to do are to sing and play piano, read, cook (actually I like to try new foods), spend time with family and friends, and laugh (I love anything that comes attached to a smile….like puppies!!!). I was homeschooled from the third grade until graduation, and yes I did schoolwork at the kitchen table in my pajamas. I am forever grateful for that educational experience (my mom is the coolest, but she’s also a tough teacher).

As a homeschool kid, I was not used to going to class, making lots of friends, or even having more than one teacher. The first college experience I ever had was in a dual-enrollment class my senior year of high school. Throughout those first two years of community college, I was worried the “college scene” was not for me. By the time I graduated community college with my associate degree, I still had not decided whether I was going to transfer to a 4-year institution. My dad looked at me one day when I was griping about not knowing where my life was going and he asked, “Have you ever looked at Gardner-Webb?”

From the moment my dad asked that question, something in me knew I was heading in the right direction. I booked a tour for the very next week, and I paid my housing fee during my visit. I fell in love with Gardner-Webb the minute I walked on campus, and I haven’t stopped loving it since. The wonderful people in the admissions office treated me, a stranger, like I was family; and, once I met the faculty, staff, and students, they were no different. Instead of leaving home for the first time, I felt like I was coming to a home that I never knew I had!

Gardner-Webb quickly captured my heart, and it has not yet let go (and I don’t think it ever will). The two years I spent there were, by far, the most challenging, rewarding, and fruitful two years of my life. Not only did I grow mentally, but I also grew spiritually and emotionally. As I now move forward into this next leg of my life-journey, I can honestly say that I would not have gotten this far without Gardner-Webb. God knew exactly where I needed to be, the people I needed in my life, and the lessons I needed to learn—both in and out of the classroom. I walked into college with the expectation of simply leaving with a degree, but I left with so much more than that.

Now I am busy reading cases, learning laws, and planning for (sigh) adult life after college. But the steps I have taken in the past have all been strategically placed by God in order to give me the foundation that I need to be able to continue to the next step. My educational background (homeschool, community college, and GWU) has worked together to prepare me for what God has in store for me at UNC Law and, ultimately, for life. I am so thankful for the experiences I’ve had, the lessons I’ve learned, and the people with whom I’ve been so incredibly blessed to share them. I pray that you allow God to guide your steps and lead you into your destiny too! Build your foundation, and watch God turn your potential into purpose. No one on earth can fulfill your purpose the way that YOU can!

Kelsi Williams ‘18, Psychology Alum, Chapel Hill Law Student