Planting the Seeds for the Future - Interview with Kennedy Williams

Share with us a bit about who Kennedy Williams’ is.

Kennedy Williams is a recent graduate of Howard University where she studied Environmental Studies with a minor in Political Science. She served as a College of Arts & Sciences Flagship Student Ambassador and was a member of the Howard University Water & Environment Association (HUWEA) and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Kennedy has served as a White House intern, has traveled to South Africa to study energy and environmental justice, and has conducted summer research in California. With a passion for environmental justice, agriculture, and environmental policy, Kennedy has plans to enter the workforce and continue her advocacy and activism with low-income black communities who are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

What have you learned during your internship?

I have learned the value of collaboration with professionals in the water sector. It’s impossible to address all the different water-related challenges alone and there’s so much value in working together to create sustainable solutions. I have also learned to not be afraid to ask for help; everyone at the Reservoir Center is so kind and always encourages curiosity and learning.

Why did you want to intern at the Reservoir Center?

I wanted to intern at the Reservoir Center because I originally started my professional career in the water sector. In high school, I was an intern at a wastewater treatment plant in my hometown and I enjoyed the experience and gained valuable knowledge about the water sector. I’m passionate about advocating for clean water for everyone.

What have you learned as part of your internship?

Through this internship, I have learned that various environmental and health-related challenges within the water sector need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Discovering all these different types of issues has motivated me to want to learn more and be part of the solution to help better address these challenges.

What’s next, after graduation?

After graduation, I will be entering the workforce so that I gain more knowledge and experience in the environmental sector. In the next few years, I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainability. Ultimately, I want to be a leader in the environmental justice field, and I want to represent marginalized communities that are being disproportionately impacted by climate change.

What’s one water challenge you hope is solved in your lifetime? (Or something like that)

Everyone should have the right to clean water but unfortunately, millions of people lack access to clean and safe drinking water. I challenge that I would like to help solve is ensuring that everyone around the globe has access to clean water.

Do you have a favorite Reservoir Center memory?

My favorite Reservoir Center memory must be attending the Careers for Change events. I always enjoyed helping organize the events and I loved learning more about different water-related topics as well as meeting water professionals and leaders. I also enjoyed the networking opportunities the events provided and getting to meet like-minded professionals.