Dashing Through the Snow and Ice

Persistence Pays Off for UCO’s Ethan Williams

UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar and UCO student Ethan Williams.

ON HIS FOURTH DAY OF WORKING as a DoorDash driver, UCO senior Ethan Williams had to choose between making deliveries in hazardous, icy conditions or miss out on extra income. Knowing many Edmond residents would be stuck indoors due to wintry weather, he opted to venture out to deliver food. 

“I almost didn’t want to come out and do it, but I knew with the ice, more people would be ordering,” Williams said. 

His first delivery was less than ideal – a $3 order with no tip. Shaking off the feeling of defeat, the Okemah native continued to the next order. When he arrived near the customer’s home, his vehicle prevented him from driving up the icy hill. Rather than give up, he opted to walk the delivery a mile up the hill and directly to the customer’s door. 

Struck by his perseverance, the customer shared the story on a Facebook group that received the attention of Oklahoma City television station, KOCO, which then caught the eye of UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar. Also taken by Williams’ tenacity, Neuhold-Ravikumar sought to somehow recognize the student. 

To acknowledge Williams, the UCO Foundation collaborated with the president on fulfilling the hardworking student’s existing bursar debt, as well as providing him with a scholarship. The act of kindness was a complete surprise to Williams who got to thank the president in person. 

“Ethan didn’t let his circumstances keep him from achieving his goal,” said President Neuhold-Ravikumar. “Pushing through this situation, he exhibited remarkable grit and character. We want to reward that.” 

Upon learning of the gift, Williams was extremely grateful. The kinesiology major looks forward to a little peace of mind due to the debt payoff, as well as making some needed repairs to his vehicle. With plans to graduate this December, he is working up to 40 hours a week in addition to taking 15 hours of coursework at Central. 

In the future, Williams hopes his UCO degree will lead to his goal of becoming a physical trainer or athletic trainer. He recently began working as a full-time pharmacy technician and plans to continue being a DoorDash driver, which will help pay for his tuition. 

“You get out there and you do what no one else wants to do themselves,” President Neuhold-Ravikumar said. “You could have given up but you chose to keep going. We’re proud of you and we’re proud to call you a Broncho.” 

To that, Williams responded with, “I am proud to be a Broncho.”