WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY -- When he was a sophomore in high school, Bryan Williams once broke his toe on a Saturday and was back in school hobbling around on crutches by Monday. While most kids might take a broken bone as the perfect excuse to play hooky, Williams wouldn’t think of it. He was determined to keep a perfect record of never being late and never being absent.
Williams graduated from last month having accomplished his goal, a 13-year record of never being absent or tardy.
He strongly believes punctuality and presence are important virtues that prove he is dependable.
“Being on time for me is a true virtue that I believe that everyone should follow, though sadly some do not. To me, it shows true dedication when you arrive to school or work on time. Even if it is something that one loathes, you still need to be on time, for it shows being courteous to others,” he said.
Williams made his commitment to punctuality when he was recognized in first grade for having a perfect attendance record for two years.
“I had gone on two years not missing school and I had seen the reactions from my parents and teachers alike, I found it to be quite glorious.” Williams said.
Williams attributes his accomplishment to parents who made sure nothing interfered with his long-term goal, including never planning vacations that would impinge on school time.
“I can say with great confidence that I was able to reach this goal through my personal drive to see myself succeed in this goal, as well as the support from my loved ones.”
Williams wakes by the sound of his cell phone alarm and starts his day. His goal has made him into a morning person that just likes getting an early start to a day, he said. Before he was old enough to wake himself he could always rely on his father to turn on his bedroom lights and get him going for the day. His parents relied on the school bus to get Williams to school on time. His mother Robin readily admits she has no such perfect record herself, but is proud of her son’s determination.
“He has good work ethic and a serious knack for being punctual. When he started driving himself to school, he always left early enough to give himself ample time,” Robin said. “If you tell Bryan you will pick him up at 12:00, he will be ready and pacing by 11:30. If you are not there by 12:01, he will call you. I tease him that it will be the only quality about him that will drive his wife in the future crazy!”
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While being punctual might be a matter of good planning, being present is not always so easy. But for Williams, health has never been much of an issue. He never got more than a sore throat or cough that couldn’t be cured with over the counter medicine in a few hours, his mother said.
“I try my best to stay healthy, but I feel that it was a miracle that I never got sick during these past thirteen years,” Williams said. “I did stray away from violent activities that would make it improbable for me to attend school in anyway, but besides that my not falling ill was something that I was blessed with and quite thankful for.”
Williams will embark on a new phase of timeliness when he starts college in the fall, a place where there are many new factors that can make you late. He will attend Howard University to earn a Bachelor’s in Communications with a concentration in film next year. Despite the new punctuality challenges he may find in college, Williams plans to continue his perfect attendance and record.
“I know he will keep up his perfect attendance because it is who he is as a person,” Robin said. “He never did it for us, he did it for himself. He is very diligent and focused like that.”
Williams sees himself as a dependable and reliable person, partly because of his record, and he plans to keep it up.
“Unless something tragic happens in my life, I know I will always attend my courses at college, and always arrive to work on time when I begin my career,” he said.