Candace Williams is a Lime Fellow (Class of 2018) and a 2019 Google Lime Scholar. Sh
Why did you decide to apply for the Google Lime Scholarship?
The CEO of Lime Connect, Susan Lang, believed in me. I first met her while attending the Lime Connect Fellows Symposium. We were returning to the hotel after a Symposium event when Susan asked me about my transition to college, and what it was like pioneering for my family. I answered her honestly, expressing my struggle with my disability, imposter syndrome, and not always feeling like my family understood my career goals. And then she said, “You should apply for the Google Lime Scholarship. I know you can win it."
I almost didn’t apply, just like I did with the Lime Fellowship Program, but I thought of Susan and powered through anyway. She believed in me, even when I felt like there were so many more deserving applicants.
What was your experience like at the Google Scholars Retreat?
I cried. A lot. The Google Scholars Retreat made me feel like I belonged, like I had a community. Affirmations came from everywhere, but the Google Lime Scholars told me at every opportunity that I deserved to be there too. On the second to last day, I wasn’t in the group photo, and when my cohort realized it, they said, “We’ll do it over again because you deserve to be recognized. To be seen. Your presence here matters. We should have made sure everyone was here before we took the pictures the first time.” It felt good feeling like I belonged, that I was wanted, that my presence mattered, and that me being there was never a burden.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I have no idea. The post-grad anxiety is a lot and if you’re in this position too, know you’re not alone. Having your life figured out is not a prerequisite to becoming a scholar : )
Do you have any advice for prospective applicants?
Your story matters. No disability is too small and the work you’ve done means something. There are going to be lots of amazing applicants, and if you don’t apply you won’t be one of them. And you should be. The Google Lime Scholarship Committee reads every application. They care about you and value your perspective of the world. Your voice is needed and is incredibly valuable. Don’t sell yourself short. You may not have had a CEO believing in you before, but now you do and a Candace Williams plus an entire legacy of Google Scholars cheering you on! Apply and don’t give up on yourself! You are 100% worthy of being in the next Google Scholars cohort. <3