Young author overcomes homelessness to spread love and compassion
Diamonaja “Diamond” Williams has big dreams for the future, but the 12-year-old Greenville resident is reaching kids and adults right now with a message of love and compassion.
Diamond is in sixth grade at Northwood Middle School in Taylors. She is already receiving accolades, including a 2016 Outstanding Youth Award, for her efforts to make a difference in her community.
In addition to motivational speaking, Diamond promotes an anti-bullying platform through writing. Her mother, Audrey Williams, independently published three of Diamond’s stories in the book, “The Three Bikes and Other Short Stories.”
“She has a mind of her own,” Williams said. “I don’t tell her to do these things – she wants to do it.”
Though Diamond dreams of being a surgeon one day and traveling the world, for now she is focused on getting good grades and serving others.
She volunteers in the community, serving those in need at Thanksgiving and participating in a project to make gifts for children at Shriners Hospital. She is developing her creative side through dance and through designing a line of T-shirts that she hopes to sell.
Diamond and her family have overcome tremendous obstacles, including a period of homelessness in 2010. At the time, Williams said she went without food to ensure that Diamond and her siblings had something to eat.
Through it all, the family’s focus on character and caring for others helped shape their future.
The focus of Diamond’s public speaking is on perseverance.
“She lets them know that you can do anything you can put your mind to,” Williams said.
Diamond’s book teaches her peers not to bully – a subject that is close to her heart, not because she has been bullied but because she is passionate about ending it.
“She hates bullying and she loves to help kids with special needs,” Williams said.
The family is working on having the book translated into Spanish as well.
“I just don’t think people should judge other people by the way they look or dress,” Diamond said. “I think they should be treated equally.”