To have one child earn a scholarship to a well regarded post-secondary institution is the dream of many parents.
Lana and Ron Williams now have two boys who have earned full four-year undergraduate scholarships to nearby Simon Fraser University.
Jack, 19, earned his last year after graduating from Samuel Robertson Technical, and Ben, 17, also and SRT grad, just found out he is going to follow in his brother’s footsteps.
The younger brother is quick to give praise to the elder for blazing a trail.
“[Jack] has motivated me to do better in school and achieve the scholarship,” Ben volunteered early on in a conversation with The News.
While following similar paths, they come across as quite unique.
Jack has wild curly hair and expresses his passion exuberently for music and helping those with a similar love for the arts succeed. He plays drums, bass, guitar and keyboard, records his own music and that of his friends, and is always looking to perform.
Ben is clean cut and comes across as charismatic and mature beyond his years. He taught himself how to cut hair and will often give trims to friends and family and then donate the profits to charity.
Both enjoy sports, excelling in lacrosse but competing in everything from basketball, to hockey, volleyball and soccer.
The elder brother has been pursuing a degree in psychology and criminology.
“It started out as an interest in how the mind works,” he said, “I always found it very interesting to think about why people make decision and what influences people as they grow up.”
He went on to mention that seeing the poverty, mental illness and drug addiction in Maple Ridge has encouraged him to see if he can do something to help.
The brothers both volunteered at Hollyrood Manor Long Term Care Home, and Ben says he still keeps in touch with some of the residents via FaceTime calls since COVID-19 restricted their ability to go there in person.
A career in law interests the younger Williams sibling.
“The past couple years I’ve taken criminology and law because I’m hoping to become a lawyer some day,” he said.
While some might assume the Williams parents must have been heavily involved, Ben said they took more of a laid back approach to guiding them.
“They’re not super uptight with us,” he pointed out. “They’ve just let us do our own thing and I think the main thing is they have trust in us.
“They just want us to try our hardest and as long as we do, that’s all they care about.”
Ron Williams said he and Lana are very proud of the boys.
“They really are the ones that decided to put so much effort into school and to do well,” he said. “We haven’t really pushed them.
“They’re self-motivated and it’s the same with other activities they’ve done too, so we’ve just tried to encourage that and observe, and enjoy, and help them out whenever we can.