Cox College felt like home to Fotine Williams

Fotine Williams was born in Rwanda and moved to Springfield, MO when she was 20 years old. She met her husband, Sheldon, at a college Bible study and has been married to him for six years. A self-described people person, Fotine enjoys being around others and is an advocate for the discouraged and lonely; she strives to make a difference in their lives. As a young girl, her dad always told her, “if you aren’t kind and do not have God in your life, you have nothing.” This has always stuck with her.

Looking back on her life, she always knew she wanted to help people. She felt this was a direct result of the genocide she witnessed in her native country. At the age of seven, she remembers seeing people killing each other, including family members, which resulted in heart broken families and a divided country. These horrible images never left her. Consequently, when she decided to come to the United States, she did not know where she should go, but only knew she wanted to help others. After exploring a multitude of health occupations, she heard about occupational therapy and it became immediately apparent this was what she wanted to do. Occupational therapy helps those with disabilities or injuries figure out how to lead normal lives and continue to contribute to the community. Her passion for working with others to help them remain independent drove her interest in this profession.

Fotine applied to several institutions, but as soon as she stepped onto the Cox College campus, she knew it was where she wanted to go. She felt at home, and the staff and faculty made her feel like family.

“I have attended other schools and I could tell they viewed me as someone from Rwanda. The students here do not see me as a woman of color, but they value who I am and what I have to say. That has changed everything. I have been so happy since coming to Cox College. I wake up every morning somewhere where I want to be. For someone considering Cox College… go apply. Once you get into Cox College you will never look back and I feel it is the best school ever,” Fotine said.

As a student, Fotine found that there are many resources and people willing to help. Her plans after school are still in progress, but she has many opportunities available to her. Her dream has been to open a clinical orphanage in order to give back and help those who do not have anyone. She hopes one day to fulfill this dream. Until then, she plans to focus on in-home health care.