The Zakiyy A. Williams Foundation
The Zakiyy A. Williams Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2019 to honor the life of our beloved son, brother and friend who passed away December 6, 2018 from mental illness. Zakiyy was an exuberant 21-year old college student at LaSalle University, a talented athlete and an aspiring entrepreneur with a beautiful smile and a generous heart as big and bright as his future. Zakiyy’s positive impact preceded him. His tragic and untimely passing is a tremendous loss for our family and community; and unfortunately, we are not alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental health issues are especially prevalent on college campuses. In fact, one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a diagnosable mental illness. In response to these alarming statistics, the Zakiyy A. Williams Foundation is dedicated to the advancement and transformation of mental health awareness and treatment amongst teens and young adults to eradicate stigma and negative outcomes.
Zakiyy Asim Williams was born on February 11, 1997 to Richard and Ayanna Williams in Levittown, PA. He was educated in the Lumberton Township, NJ school system—graduating from Rancocas Valley Regional High School, where he excelled in both Varsity Football and Men’s Track and Field, of which earned him a Track and Field Scholarship to attend LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. At the time of his untimely passing, Zakiyy was in his senior year at LaSalle University and was awarded a much deserved Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, posthumously, on May 12, 2019. He was a self-taught artist who loved to paint and draw. In fact, during his freshman year, he and his roommate started a lifestyle brand called “How You Livin”, which showcased his artistic talents; and in his junior year, he joined the Delta Sigma Pi Business Professional Fraternity to foster his entrepreneurial aspirations. He truly pursued his passions.
Whether on the field leading his team with interceptions, making All-County Football, exceeding personal best in the 4×100-meter relay or record-breaking long and triple jumps, Zakiyy’s exceptional athletic abilities were sure to impress. His stellar athletic reputation was documented in several media publications including: The Courier Post, The Burlington County Times, The Philadelphia Daily News and The LaSalle University Collegian.
In addition to sports and entrepreneurial ambitions, Zakiyy was committed to spending quality time with family and friends and giving back to his community. Mentoring peers, donating clothing and shoes to those in need and handing out free, cold bottled water to the homeless in Camden, NJ during the summer months were just a few of his selfless endeavors. Zakiyy was altruistic, artistic, athletic, ambitious, intelligent, free spirited, confident and fearless. His dynamic personality was an inspiration to many, yet he still struggled with depression and anxiety which ultimately overwhelmed him.
The Zakiyy A. Williams Foundation is dedicated to honoring the spirited legacy of our beloved Zakiyy by empowering our community with awareness, education and resources that help to eradicate tragic endings to mental health disorders amongst teens and young adults.
Our “We Do It 4 Zak” endeavors are made possible by generous individual and corporate donations as well as, our annual 22 Classic Flag Football Tournament and Mental Health Awareness Event (the 2nd annual is scheduled for summer of 2020).
Thank you for your support,
Family and Friends of Zakiyy A. Williams
The foundation will raise funds to provide a therapy stipend for college and high school students who are seeking off-campus mental health support but don’t necessarily have the resources to pay for it. To be eligible, the following is required:
- Students must receive financial aid and/or participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Students’ financial need for services will be verified by the licensed therapist of their choice and take into account the need to provide services independent of insurance
Additionally, the Foundation will raise funds to award an annual scholarship to a Rancocas Valley Regional High School student in support of their athletic, artistic and/or entrepreneurial aspirations. To be eligible, the following is required:
- Must be a RVRHS Senior
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Be continuing education in the academic year following high school graduation at a 2-year or 4-year accredited university/college
- Be a member of Women’s or Men’s Track and Field and/or Football Teams
- Majoring in Digital Arts and/or Business
- Exemplify a commitment to helping others through community service and/or mentorship
- Ayanna Williams
- Amari Adams
CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:
The Zakiyy A. Williams Foundation
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161
Use credit card by clicking the link below.
The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.
For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.