Commencement 2022 Student Speaker Aquonn Williams

Aquonn Williams posted on Thursday, April 28, 2022 in  Alumni Profiles

Aquonn Williams believes that you should shoot for the stars, even when they are far away. When he was four years old, his mother moved Aquonn and his brother to Waterloo for a fresh start, a better education, and to escape the adversities of their Chicago neighborhood. As an African-American male and the child of a single mother, he faced many challenges growing up and along his educational journey.

Growing up in Waterloo, Aquonn enjoyed high school and participated in football, wrestling, the iJAG program, Upward Bound, and volunteered in his community. He graduated from East High School in 2016 with aspirations for college.

He started at a college a couple of hours away and walked on the football team with high hopes of proving himself and earning an athletic scholarship. After a few months of school he was struggling academically and personally, so he dropped out.

Not about to quit, he enrolled in another college in western Iowa and this time tried out for the wrestling team. Failing to change his habits, he left school and returned home.

Aquonn was ready to give up, but his mother encouraged him to go to Hawkeye Community College. He decided to try college one last time, and enrolled in the Liberal Arts Transfer program. It was at Hawkeye that he discovered TRIO and the support services he needed to be successful.

Aquonn is the first in his family to graduate from college. After graduation, Aquonn plans to pursue his dream of working in the entertainment industry and earning his bachelor’s degree.


  1. Alumni
  2. Commencement
  3. Graduation
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