LLI Columbus Graduate Spotlight: Melvin Smith-Williams
Melvin Smith-Williams graduated from Columbus Eastmoor Academy High School, where he was part of the Senior Senate, the Gentlemen Club, the International Club, and the track and field team. He was actively involved with the Law and Leadership Institute for four years, learning about both criminal and civil law and participating in internships at local law firms. He is currently a first-year student at the University of Akron and his goal is to become a lawyer.
Q: What do you think you might want to major in at the University of Akron and why?
A: I am currently majoring in Political Science because I want to be part of a group that helps improve the law for our country. My plan is to go to law school at The Ohio State University.
Q: How would you describe your first couple of weeks at the University of Akron?
A: I am in my 10th week here at the University of Akon and I have been busy. Every single day has been stressful. The course work is draining and time consuming. I attend lectures by my professors three days a week and have an exam every two weeks. The course work is challenging, but it is achievable.
Q: What classes are you currently taking?
A: I am currently taking Government and Politics, Introduction to Sociology, Excursions in Math, Akron Experience, and Basic Writing.
Q: Do you plan to get involved in extra-curricular activities?
A: Yes, I am involved in Residence Hall government here on campus; I am one of the future leaders for my residence hall. My position is a representative and I plan on applying for a Resident Assistant (RA) position for the spring semester.
Q How did you ultimately decide where you wanted to attend college?
A: I visited University of Akron five times before I knew this was the school for me. I took one trip with the Law and Leadership Program and the other four with my mother. As I explored campus, the environment seemed just right for me. The service on campus was amazing. I felt like I could make this city and university my home for the next four years and that’s what I plan to do.
Q: How would you describe your LLI experience?
A: My LLI experience has truly been an eye opener. I have had meaningful, hands-on experience in a field in which I want to have a career. For instance, being able to sit in on a criminal docket and listen to different cases and see how Judge Greene ruled on each case flattered me. Through this program, I have absorbed every opportunity that I had in front of me.
Q: How do you think your experience with LLI has prepared you for college?
A: I remember when I was sitting in class, and doing ACT and SAT practice tests. This program taught me how to think critically and analyze concepts in more detail. I have gained confidence in how I present myself in front of a class or anyone that I am trying to impress. All of these concepts I use to this day in college. I will always know that the LLI program changed my life. I am well prepared for any challenge that may present itself. I will never be blinded by my education because I know that I came from a great program and institution, where I was taught how to strive and pull through any situation.
Q: What advice would you give to LLI juniors and seniors who will soon be applying for college?
A: My number one advice is to apply for as many scholarships as possible because college is too expensive. Nobody wants debt. My second piece of advice is to visit all the schools you get accepted to, so you have an understanding of what school will make a great fit for you.