Saturday 21 September 2019
  • :
  • :

Nio Williams: A Way with Words…

Story by Katrice Williams
Photos by Sheila Scott
Words possess a wealth of power, often edifying, at times condemning. However, their essential
beauty is always created by the versing of the beholder. Hence, poetry itself often speaks volumes. The
late Edgar Allan Poe remarked, “I would define in brief the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation
of beauty.”
Nio Williams (Michael Anto“nio” Williams, III) finds that beauty in each day, even in the art in
which he has mastered for some time: spoken-word poetry. Nio is a senior Communication Arts major
at Savannah Arts Academy (SAA). He has lived in Pooler since he was just two-years-old.
For years, this young man has been told that his distinctively charismatic voice and articulation are
an immense asset. He decided to put his gift to good use in a truly creative way.
On January 11th, Nio became the 4-Peat Poetry Out Loud Champion for his school after reciting
Taylor Mali’s “Undivided Attention” before an audience and panel of skilled judges. Developed in
2006, Poetry Out Loud is a “recitation contest created by the National Endowment for the Arts to
increase awareness in the art of performing poetry.”
Nio also recently won the Poetry Out Loud Regional Contest on February 23rd, where he competed
with some of the most talented young poets from around the region. He recited both “Undivided
Attention” and Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Nio is confidently looking
forward to the state competition on March 17th in Atlanta followed by the national contest on April
29th in Washington, D.C.
Whether rhyme, rhythm, meter, stanza or rhyme scheme, Nio has long been acclimated with various
elements of poetry–its depth, its creativity, its genius.
He has been privileged to participate in AP Literature this year, taught by Dr. Aimee Taylor, who
was proud of his recent accomplishments.
Regarding Nio, she said, “Nio has a keen insight into how to deliver a line of poetry. He instinctively
knows what to stress, how to highlight rhythm, the importance of phrasing, and even how to
effectively manipulate a pause. His passion for the spoken word is clearly evident and immediately felt
by his audience, as he takes them on a journey into his world of poetry…out loud.”
In January 2016, Nio became the first freshman to win the contest for his school after reciting Dick
Allen’s “What You Have to Get Over.”
“I was very elated, but at the same time, I tried to stay humble,” he stated.
Each of the following years, Nio always looked forward to the event at his school. He recited Mark
Halliday’s “Wide Receiver” in 10th grade and Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle-Hymn of the Republic” in
11th grade–his favorite poem of those recited.
“The poem’s voice mimicked that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; it had that I Have a Dream tone…a
preacher-type voice,” Nio remarked.
Things felt different this year to Nio, and rightfully so, since he was blessed to end the memorable
era with a 4-peat before graduating.
“I think the difference was the wholeness…the completion of having done this and being able to
leave a legacy…leave a mark…leave an impact,” he said.
Nio is appreciative for his SAA education and feels it has greatly prepared him for his future goals.
“The rigor of the workload challenges you to display your best work. Between classes,
extracurriculars and community involvement, it’s a balancing act. All those different aspects come
together to make you a well-rounded student,” Nio said.
His goals are certainly well within reach. Nio maintains a 4.0 academic GPA and is quite a versatile
student. He is currently president of National English Honor Society (NEHS), co-president of the
Academic Quiz Bowl Team, an officer in National Beta Club and an active member of Mu Alpha Theta
(Math Honor Society) and Christian Fellowship Club. He has also been a member of Future Business
Leaders of America (FBLA) each year. He is the 2018-19 FBLA Regional Conference Champion in the
Personal Finance Competitive Event; he was also the 2017-18 2nd Place Regional Conference winner
in the Accounting Competitive Event and the 2nd Place winner for the conference in the Business
Calculations Competitive Event during the 2016-17 school year.
Nio plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the fall to successfully
attain a Business Administration Degree with a concentration in finance, as he has long been
interested in the field of financial advisement.
“I knew in my heart it was the right fit. I want to see people achieve and prosper…to build, keep and
sustain wealth in an effort for them to live life within their means, but at the same time, enjoy all the
opportunities that smart money management can afford them,” he asserted.
Interestingly enough, Nio had the privilege to meet his financial mentor Dave Ramsey in January
2018 at Compassion Christian Church, who visited and spoke to guests about making good overall
financial decisions. Nio was honored to both meet and be photographed with his mentor. In fact, for
his 18th birthday, he attained two autographed copies of Mr. Ramsey’ bestsellers. “That was
important to me.
I was inspired to one day be that guy who signs other people’s books and pay it forward,” he said.
Nio knows that every true achievement in life-every victory-is the product of hard work, integrity
and principled behavior. He sincerely feels that character always counts and should never be
“Know and be who you are; stay humble. Treat everybody with kindness and dignity. Be a good
person, and let the goodness overflow,” he declared. Nio appreciates the love and support his entire
family has always given him. One of his biggest inspirations is his granddaddy, Anthony Williams.
“I admire his consistency and unwaveringness. He is steadfast in his principles…in his non-
negotiables,” Nio stated.
Nio Williams has an incredible destiny all his own. The young man is certain to one day graciously
and humbly note, “Two roads diverged in a [yellow] wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, and
that has made all the difference (Robert Frost).”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *