COMING DAILY IN METRO: This is one in a series of stories about members of The Gazette’s Best and Brightest Class of 2005. Some people would say Matt Williams’ young life has been cursed. Williams calls it blessed. The 17-year-old Air Academy High School senior nearly died as a toddler during a hernia operation, was thrown from a car two years ago but was uninjured and this year helped rescue a fellow athlete. All of it has bolstered his faith in God. “By no means would I say it’s bad luck,” he said. “I would say I’ve been extremely blessed with an amazing life.” January’s incident was the most humbling, he said. Williams was on a training run with several other Air Academy runners when one of them grabbed a low-hanging electrical line. He was knocked unconscious, still gripping the wire. “His hands were smoking,” Williams said. “I kind of tapped him with my foot and didn’t get shocked. I didn’t know it then, but it was because my shoes were rubber. I just sort of kicked him off.” He doesn’t know how these experiences will play out in his future, but he’s certain they’re part of a larger plan. “I think things definitely happen for a reason,” he said. Williams takes part in Memorial Hospital’s Learning Link job shadow program and serves on Air Academy’s superintendent’s advisory council. “One thing I really desire to do is dedicate my life to service in some form or fashion — whether in the medical field, or as a missionary, a military officer — as long as I’m serving other people,” he said. CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4817 or MATT WILLIAMS Jim and Mary Williams Cumulative GPA of 4.5; Teen Court advisory board; Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference; Students Offering Support, peer mediator; Air Force Junior ROTC, master sergeant/captain; Student Council junior class vice president; cross-country team captain; track team.