In 2013, Derricka Williamson began working in the out-of-school time (OST) field when she began taking advantage of scholarships and using the College Credit Pathway offered through Prime Time to give her the direction she needed to begin reaching goals that allowed her to move from certificate achievements to degrees.
“This experience has changed me forever and I will continue to share with my peers the opportunities that are offered through Prime Time.” – Derricka Williamson, Afterschool Director, Benoist Farms Elementary Afterschool Program
To help retain dedicated and passionate out-of-school time professionals, Prime Time provides career advising, educational pathways, professional development trainings, scholarships, incentives, communities of practice and more. Motivated by the ACHIEVE OST Incentive Award Program, she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Supervision and Management in December 2020 from Palm Beach State College.
“Without the financial support through ACHIEVE, I would not have been able to afford the costs to achieve my bachelor’s degree.” – Derricka Williamson
During her educational journey, Derricka learned why positive interactions are so crucial in youth development and its long-term impact. Children can have disadvantages based on location or access to certain resources, which can lead to gaps in their youth development. This knowledge provided her with the ability to see the value of incorporating enriching activities throughout a child’s entire day and that social and emotional learning is as important as academic learning.
“I have the ability to witness students’ growth in untraditional capacities, this has become my greatest motivator. Over the years, I have learned so much from the youth in regards to resilience in this fast-moving world. It has always been important to me to continue to see the world from a child-like perspective and taking moments to find the wonder in just living like I see the kids do every day.” – Derricka Williamson