JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – This year, local rapper Kirk Williams completed his dream of graduating from Jackson State University. The father of two earned his Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a 3.9 GPA. It’s an accomplishment he never imagined.
There were several trials for Williams to overcome. He was working at the age of 12. By the time he was 14, he was homeless after being kicked out of his grandmother’s house for dropping out of school.
Williams said, “My grandmother registered me for school and that was going to be at Jim Hill actually, and I was like, I’m not going back to school. I can’t go in the gear that I’m in. I felt like at that point I was actually needing a lot more, and I knew that she was unfortunate to do so. So, it was my pride versus my education.”
Williams said that decision led him to do whatever it took to survive. After the death of his grandmother, he felt it was time to change his life for the better.
“She was the only person that really cared about us. I had younger siblings, actually five of us. So when she died, I remember some people came and got all her belongings out the house, and they left us there. And the cold nights there and the hustles. Trying to understand we have to do it on our own, and that’s when the thrive for better came and things have to change,” he said.
Williams said he experienced the scariest night of his life when he was critically wounded by a gunshot while protecting his sister.
“It was the most longest night of my where you’re on the operating table then declared dead three times, confirmed by my mother and sisters when they got the call. But by the grace of God, I can just look back at it and say I’m thankful today that I surpassed those moments.”
Williams earned his GED before attending Hinds Community College and then Jackson State University. Now having earned his Master’s Degree, he plans to continue working with the youth in his community and completing other goals.