Montel Williams is no stranger to making a difference. His latest challenge is a partnership with the National School Boards Association. His mission is to further empower the public school system and to help advocate local communities to lend a helping hand.
Our children are the future and if we don’t stand up for them, then their futures will suffer. “We must be willing to get involved and ask questions,” said Williams. The National School Boards Association Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel also weighed in on the misconceptions associated with the public school system. Gentzel said that many people believe false statistics associated with public schools, when in fact graduation rates are at an all time high and students are achieving great things.
“I have based my life on being strong enough to do anything,” said Williams. Shortly after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1999, Williams established the Montel Williams MS Foundation to further the scientific study of MS, provide financial assistance to select organizations and institutions conducting research, raise national awareness, and educate the public. The MWMSF has granted over $1.5 million dollars to research and has supported a study done at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which discovered an MS gene. “I started this foundation when I was diagnosed. It was established for one reason, and that was to try to find a cure for MS. Every penny, 100% of the public donations that come into this are given back out in the form of grants to colleges and researchers around the world,” said Williams.
Instead of allowing his diagnosis to seal his fate, Montel knew he couldn’t let his friends and family down. He shares on the Foundation’s website, “It became clear that I had a choice to make. I could spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself as the victim of a tragic fate. Or I could view my illness as a call to action -- an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions who suffer from MS and their loved ones.”
Over the years, Montel has been involved with many initiatives that are focused on improving the lives of people living with various brain impairments and injuries. He has personally participated in studies and trials surrounding non-invasive brain stimulation therapy with phenomenal results. He continues to work with researchers and the U.S. Army to further develop their findings with the hopes of helping soldiers who have experienced blast-related traumatic brain injuries.
No matter how challenging something may seem, whether it be MS or the public school system, Williams is willing to take on the world and do anything he can do to make it a better place.