JOEMC members are doing great things, and the co-op’s Power of Community is showcasing outstanding neighbors working to make the community even better every day.


This month we highlight Deunta Williams, an entrepreneur, former college football All-American athlete, and youth advocate who epitomizes resilience. Deunta is a passionate change agent in the lives of youth. He is the founder and director of Exciting Movement, Expanding Resources, and Genuine Engagement (EMERGE) Youth Foundation.


Growing up in a public housing project in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at an early age, Deunta was exposed to immense poverty and lack of educational resources. Despite his environment, he had an insatiable desire for knowledge and a relentless commitment to overcoming obstacles in his path. After a notable high school career as a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball, and track; he selected a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill from numerous scholarship offers. At UNC, Deunta’s achievements continued when he reached All-American status and was projected as a top safety for the NFL Draft for his class. These accolades, however, came to a screeching halt when Deunta broke his leg the last game of his college career and was declared medically unable to return to football. Instead of being defeated, he channeled the resilience that got him to that point and realized his life was bigger than football.


Deunta uses his business acumen and inspiring testimony to encourage and empower others through life coaching and the numerous other uplifting activities he has initiated or participates in. Always remembering where he came from, Deunta is a passionate change agent in the lives of youth.


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To learn more about our other community members and JOEMC employees who exhibit the Power of Community, click here.