Press Release
Posted May 1, 2021

Kiana Williams earns two associate degrees and her high school diploma from LCCC’s Early College High School

At only 18, Kiana Williams has overcome challenges in life, but the biggest one is having sickle cell anemia.

“My disease has caused me to miss multiple classes, but I have such a great support team that I have always been able to bounce back right away,” the Elyria resident and soon-to-be proud Lorain County Community College graduate said. She thanks the staff and faculty at LCCC for providing the support she needed.

Kiana Williams in graduation regalia
Kiana Williams

“I am a first-generation college student which is a great accomplishment, but also tough, but I know everyone will be by my side if I need anything,” Williams said. “LCCC has helped me meet my goals by giving me so many opportunities to prepare me for my future career.”

Despite health challenges, Williams will earn both an associate of arts degree and an associate of science degree at the same time she graduates high school through the Lorain County Early College High School. Williams follows in the footsteps of two older brothers who have graduated from the same program that allows students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an LCCC associate degree. Early College is taught tuition-free on the LCCC campus.

At LCCC, she discovered her passion for science. As one of Dr. Harry Kestler’s biology research students, Williams credits the professor as a major contributor to her educational success.

“I met Dr. Kestler through his biology research lab,” Willaims said. “I was afraid of making a mistake or saying something wrong. I am now leaving as a strong young woman who is not afraid to speak on what she believes or of making mistakes.”

Ultimately, her professor taught Williams more than just biology.

“Dr. Kestler taught me that making mistakes is a part of life and that it’s okay as long as you don’t continue to make the same mistake and you choose to learn from it instead.”

Williams’ own experiences with sickle cell anemia have inspired her to pursue a pre-med track. She has been recently accepted to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, with the long-term goal to become a pediatric hematologist.

As she prepares to move forward, she reflected on her time at LCCC and Early College. If she had to describe her LCCC experience in one word, it would be “rewarding,” Williams said.

“At LCCC I discovered that when I put my mind to something I can achieve anything I want no matter how challenging,” she added.

Learn more about Lorain County Early College at