UTICA — A new career is on the horizon for Victoria Williams, 24, who will soon be leaving the comforts of her home to serve her country in the United States Air Force.
Williams, a 2011 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, has been preparing for the last year to enter the Air Force. She has been working with her mother, Ginny, at Cookie Cupboard in these days leading up to her departure.
Why the Air Force?
“It seemed like my best option. I have a criminal justice degree, and I needed some training. And I wanted to work with the federal government,” said Williams. Talking with a couple family members who had served in the Air Force also helped her make her decision a little easier. “The Air Force had what I wanted. They seem to take care of their people really well,” she said.
“She’s always loved planes, and she likes to shoot. Her favorite place is the Dayton Air Force Museum,” said Ginny of Victoria’s aspirations.
The criminal justice program at MVNU helped jump-start Williams on the career path she had chosen. “It gives me a foot up in knowing about criminal justice, and it gives me a little higher rank when I take the training,” she said.
Having some fond memories of Williams from college was her former Criminal Justice professor. “She was a good student with a strong resolve,” said Merel Pickenpaugh, associate professor of Criminal Justice at MVNU. “She gave good participation in class and was free to give her thoughts. She knew what her goal was and went after it. We enjoyed having her here. She will do well in life.”
Williams plans on pursuing officer training school and becoming employed with the Security Forces within the Air Force. “Basically, I’ll be a cop for the Air Force,” she said of her planned duties. “My job will be to protect the Air Force’s assets, their people, their property. That’s my career plan. I don’t see myself doing anything else.”
Following one’s dreams can be a good thing, but getting into the Air Force took some work. In order to be accepted, Williams was told that at her height, she needed to lose 40 pounds. “It’s all about eating right and getting lots of exercise,” said Williams about her successful weight loss efforts. She dropped from 210 pounds down to 160, needing to be under 175 to serve in the Air Force. “Staying away from major carbs and sugars and just eating healthy” is what she says was the key to her weight loss. “It was a long haul in abstaining from lots of yummy things,” she admitted. “But once you have a goal in mind that you have to make, you’ll do anything for it.”
“She’s always been determined. She never quits,” said Ginny Williams of her daughter’s spirit. A strict exercise regimen was an important part of her weight loss. She currently works out four times a week in the Dynamic Performance class at the YMCA of Mount Vernon.
Victoria will leave Tuesday for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for basic training before going to tech school. “I don’t know where I’ll be going after that, but hopefully it’s somewhere nice,” she laughed.