SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gloria Williams is a woman you want in your corner. She’s a determined advocate with a clear vision and person with a huge heart. This Springfield resident and finalist in the Remarkable Women contest is the founder of Grandparents ‘n Charge, an organization that supports and provides resources to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
“It’s not being talked about enough and a lot of the grandparents aren’t getting the support that they need,” said Gloria.
Gloria empowers grandparents with knowledge they need to be successful parents the second time around. She informs them of their rights, what financial resources are available and how to navigate individual education plans. Gloria has done the research and she knows her stuff.
Gloria told 22News, “Don’t tell me there’s no resources out there, ’cause I’m gonna put that out here for you. I’m going to look it up for you (laughs). But I see the smile on the grandparents face, knowing that I did my best and knowing that they got what they needed.”
In addition to running Grandparents N’ Charge, which has helped families across the country, Gloria has a full time job at the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission, teaches spin classes and has written two books to help families who find themselves parenting a second time around. She also plans to get a degree in social work.
And what’s Gloria’s inspiration for all this? Her granddaughter Jozzy who is a senior a Springfield Central High School. She is involved with ROTC, President of the book club and is heading to study graphic design at Bridgewater State College.
It’s not easy stepping up to be a parent for a second time, becoming a vocal advocate for your grandchild. Gloria bonded with Elizabeth Garcia, the woman who nominated her, over years of coffee and their shared experiences of raising grandchildren.
“You’re almost halfway to your retirement, so you’re starting over with a new child, a new generation, a new era. you know I commend her for all the work she does to help people,” said Garcia.
In addition to outlining rights, resources and teaching grandparents how to advocate in the schools, Gloria is also there for support when things get hard, offering important words of advice.
“You’re not going to give up. You’re going to keep fighting. It’s about those grandkids,” said Gloria.