Previously published in the 2018 Ouachitonian yearbook.
Life was never ordinary for Joah Williams, a kinesiology major from Fort Worth, Texas. Joah faced challenges from an early age due to the stutter in his speech. But Williams did not allow his speech impediment to limit his social, educational or spiritual life. Instead, he focused on how it helped him grow and learn.
“Having it has made me have to work harder. Plus it has created a lot of humility in me,” said Williams. “I would say that in comparison to high school it has been harder at Ouachita, because people here are not used to it like they were in high school.”
While it may not have always been easy to communicate through conversation, Williams quickly learned how to teach others to communicate with him more effectively.
After graduating from Ouachita, Williams hopes to head back home to Texas and pursue his dream of becoming a health planner and trainer. Although being a trainer requires a lot of communication, that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his passion for helping others to live a healthy and happy life while spreading the Gospel.
“Trying to tell people exactly how to train will be hard, but people will just have to be patient with me as I am with them,” said Williams.
Williams chose to take his speech impediment and use it to help grow him, remaining positive through all he did.
“I think that people hear me, and then they kind of feel like I am a very sad person,” said Williams. “But I feel like Christ gives people problems so that they can persevere through them and seek the Holy Spirit’s help.”
What many people do not know about people with a stutter is that when given a beat, it was often easier for them to create clear sentences. This was especially true for Williams.
“When I hear a fresh beat, I don’t stutter,” said Williams. “Something about the rhythm makes it go away.”
Williams first realized his talent for rapping in high school and how it made him communicate easier, so he started to rap more often.
“Trying to hang in there and work hard and talking to someone who I have never talked to is one of the hardest things about having a stutter,” said Williams.
Williams did not allow the people who disrespected him to bring him down. He continued to have a good attitude and spend time with people who encouraged him.
“That is how life is,” said Williams.
By Brooke Woessner
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