Today’s Meet a Mom is Beth Williams, a Darien mom of three and the Director of College Success for Future Five. Through her role, she helps under-resourced high school students reach their potential. She ensures that students “attend college on purpose or with a plan and graduate on time.” Learn more about Beth, her family and all her favorite things about living in town.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have 3 kids—ages 14, 12 and 8.
What brought you to Darien and how long have you lived in town?
We were ready to move out of NYC once my husband and I started having children and fell in love with all that Darien has to offer, and we loved being close to the water. We’ve lived in Darien for 14 years.
What is your role at Future 5 and how did you get involved?
I am the Director of College Success for Future 5. I first got involved as a volunteer and was impressed with all of the different ways Future 5 supported its members in addition to the college application and selection process. Future 5 also offers its members: tutoring, SAT prep, a year-long job prep program, opportunities to volunteer and make connections within their community, personal volunteer coaches, and support throughout college. Future 5 allows any student who wants to join to do so—there is no GPA requirement. Students become members when the complete Future 5’s “Here to There” 6-week workshop. They work with volunteers and staff to determine their short and long-term goals, strengths, and identify what barriers may arise along the way. Future 5 stays with its members through high school, college, and even post-college in an alumni group. The goal for each of our members is that they connect to their full potential and move onto productive citizenship. I support Future 5’s members who are currently in college and help them with financial, academic, and social-emotional needs in order to ensure students attend college “on purpose” or with a plan and graduate on time. We have strong partnerships with Norwalk Community College and UCONN-Stamford, so students who choose to attend college locally can see a familiar face on their campus.
Are there any upcoming Future 5 events or ways for the community to help?
Future 5 relies on a team of volunteers who make our organization thrive—we could not do the work we do without them. Our diverse group of volunteers helps our students in many ways, and as our student membership grows, we need even more volunteers and invite anyone to join us. See our website for information and ways that you can volunteer in-person or remotely.
What is the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is being able to be a part of so many students’ journeys. The students I work face many challenges and barriers to meeting their goals. COVID-19 added another layer of unpredictability and chaos to their lives. Many times students just need a little extra help to keep moving and it’s wonderful to be able to provide that to our members. 100% of Future 5 students graduated from high school in 2020 and 95% of our students matriculated to college in Fall of 2020. Nationally approximately 29% of low-income students who planned to go to college in Fall 2020 did not. Future 5 has also provided laptops, wifi, college deposits, and, a quiet place to study, and tuition assistance during the pandemic.
What’s your favorite family activity in town?
Run/walk at Pear Tree, ice skating on Gorham’s Pond, and getting ice cream at Gofer.
Any words to live by?
Laughter extends life.
Favorite band is the Zac Brown Band—I am really looking forward to being able to go to concerts again!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Support your kids in all that they need to be themselves, not who you want them to be.
We love supporting local businesses. Favorite places in Darien (or near town) to…
Have Dinner: Scena
Grab a Drink with Friends: 1020
Have a Date Night: Sails or Rowayton Seafood
Spend time together as a family: Since the pandemic we have been trying to spend as much time outdoors as we can and enjoy walks in Selleck Woods and at Mianus River Park.
Shop: Chou Chou
Spa/salon: Williams & Company
Grab coffee: Can’t beat Neat for delicious coffee and treats!