From a prison cell to a college classroom

    Colwin Williams, the ex-con, is now Colwin Williams, the college student.

    It was hard to decide who was happiest at Williams’ latest achievement.

    Williams couldn’t stop smiling as he reviewed his schedule on his first day of classes Thursday at Bucks County Community College. Right by his side was his younger sister Aisha Brown, who looked adoringly at her older brother.

    “I’m happy for him,” she said.

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    Brown, who works at the school and is also a student, helped secure financial aid for her brother. 

    She also had a hand in his schedule. It was Brown who suggested the four classes Williams wanted to take might be a little ambitious. (Good call, sis.) She also made sure they took a course together — intermediate algebra. And she advised that he enroll in a communications course.

    “If he wants to fill the convention center, I thought it would be good,” she said, referring to one of Williams’ lofty public speaking goals. 

    Brown was about 10 when Williams, who is 15 years older, went to prison. In the more than 18 years Williams spent behind bars, she and their mother visited often. 

    It was a tough time for the family, Brown said, but she never doubted Williams would come out and make the most of his second chance.

    For years a piece of paper where she wrote “Colwin Williams will walk through this door,” hung at their mother’s home. 

    Five months ago, Williams finally did. And his little sister wasn’t the only one who was thrilled. His mom sent him a text Thursday morning. It read: “I’m so proud of you.” 

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