BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Williston native ‘fills in the gaps’ for teens across Levy County

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Williston native ‘fills in the gaps’ for teens across Levy County
Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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CHIEFLAND, Fla. (WCJB) -Building a bond with the Levy County community for her business led to a new calling for one entrepreneur.

“Filling in the gap, to see what we can do and help our youth proceed in life,” said owner of D. Willians Multipurpose Center, Daphina Williams. “Cause when I first started, I didn’t see it as mentoring.”

The Williston native has mentored 15 teenage girls ages ranging from 14 to adulthood throughout the county for eight years. Her idea to, “Fill in the gaps” translates to teaching professional etiquette skills, hosting food giveaways and being a part of their everyday lives.

“Goal is to get young youth, of course, that doesn’t have the capabilities at home to get on wifi, see what we could do to help tutor them and do what we can just to fill in the gap in the community,” added Williams.

“I was getting phone calls from different parents to see could I take their young daughters in and try to mentor them along the way. You know to show them there’s a better way and there’s a better way to proceed even if in the mistakes that we make sometimes in our younger ages that you could still get up, pick it up and keep it moving.”

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For more than 25 years, Williams served as a licensed Florida Funeral Director and Embalmer, opening D. Williams mortuary in Alachua County back in 2018. Although, it’s not the only building bearing her name.

In January, Williams opened the multipurpose center in Chiefland to continue mentoring teens.

“A lot of times, people may not hear you but they see your actions,” said family friend and co-worker, Richard Buie.

The multipurpose center opened to serve as a central hub for teen mentees offering internet access, a kitchen and backyard space. While the center is new, Williams’ friend in business and in service has stuck by her side for 25 years.

“She put her trust in me and you know, and I find it grateful because you lot of times can’t find nobody that you can actually say I want this done and I can go away and you know it’s going to get done,” addedBuie. “But through the years that I have been working with her, you know, it’s been some ups and some downs but I have learned her goals and learn her vision on what she wants and how to reach out to the people.”

The vision to support teens and build a stronger community across county lines.

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