Black History Month is a time to learn about and recognize the contributions of African-Americans in our country. For students like Nimitz High School’s Eric Williams, it’s personal.

“To me, this is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come as a people,” says Williams. “It’s also a time for me to show appreciation to those who have come before me.”

Growing up, learning about black history is something Williams always experienced. Whether it was participating in celebrations at church or attending events in the community, his parents made sure he was educated.

As a student at Davis Elementary, he participated in the ‘living wax museum,’ where students dressed as historical figures and attendees walked through to learn more about the individuals through the students’ perspective. The experience still inspires him to this day, and he credits it as one of his top educational Black History Month experiences.

When asked about a historical African-American figure who inspires him, Williams quickly said Jackie Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball player.

“Not only was he one of the best at what he did, but he pushed through much adversity, on and off the field,” he says. “His story is very inspiring.”

It’s figures like Robinson who have influenced Williams as a star athlete on the Nimitz football team. His senior year has been full of celebrations, from making it to the playoffs to recently receiving an athletic scholarship to Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri.

Williams plans to major in business administration with a minor in physical science. His goal is to pursue a career in the business field or as an architect after he graduates.

As this month’s celebrations continue, Williams wants readers to know that black history doesn’t stop after Black History Month.

“Our history isn’t confined to one month, black history happens each day,” added Williams.