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Employee Profile: Gabby Williams

We have the best people! Gabrielle Williams works in Successful Living's Outreach program. And here's a little about her –

Successful Living is full of people who are talented in areas beyond their work lives. Gabby Williams is one such person: she is skilled in the kitchen. She oughtta be! From the age of 7, standing on a chair in front of the stove, she was helping her extremely young mother raise her seven younger sibs! Her culinary skills are nearly all self-taught, and she does everything! BBQs! Thanksgiving turkey! Jerk chicken! Tacos! Or southern faves - whatever you want, she’ll make it – and without a recipe, thankyouverymuch!

Gabby lost her father on her third birthday, in a nearby abandoned garage, by a gun held in the hand of his friend – who was Gabby’s godfather. Life in Gabby’s neighborhood on the south side of Chicago was like that -- friends and neighbors struggling, helping and sometimes hurting one another. Gabby’s family chose to help. Gabby’s grandmother took in the little brother of the man who killed her dad, raised him, and he remains a part of her extended family today. Kindness and forgiveness are part of what makes Gabby Gabby, as well as a protective ferocity for those she loves.

Gabby and her family moved to Iowa City, where Gabby completed high school. Maybe the events of her early life subsequently influenced her decision to get both an AA and BA in Criminal Justice.

Aside from cooking, Gabby has developed expertise in health and fitness, which is another part of herself she freely shares with others. She’s currently on hiatus from teaching yoga to teens down at the Rec Center, but planning to resume in the fall.

Gabby’s education and life experience somehow guided her to Successful Living’s Outreach program, where she is particularly valued for her reliability and many skilled client contact hours and rapport with both agency staff and clients. She is grateful for the love and ongoing support of DJ, her partner and best friend, in coping with life’s challenges.

Her days start early, sometimes at the gym, sometimes on the phone with an unscheduled, distressed client, or sometimes both. She meets each day as meets life in general: by confronting whatever challenges greet her head on, before she picks up her two kids at the end of the day and heads home. To cook them all a great dinner, of course.

Thanks for joining Successful Living, Gabby. We’re glad you’re here.

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