CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Robert Williams knew early on that becoming technologically savvy was his ticket to a better life.
So in 2001, when he was in the seventh grade, Williams was one of the first students to participate in the Computers4Kids (C4K) program, a Charlottesville nonprofit that provides free computer training and mentoring to at-risks students in the area.
Ten years later, the now 24-year-old Williams said the program was a vehicle that helped change his life. Williams, a graduate student at Howard University in Washington D.C., is working to become a social worker.
"I know being an adolescent in this society is a challenge, but you made it regardless because you are here tonight," Williams told the 43 graduates and their families, friends and mentors on Monday night. "Never allow anyone to discourage you from your dreams ... if you believe in yourself, you will soon accomplish your dreams."