PHS Alumni Spotlight: Christina Williams

Laura Plata, Features Editor

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A graduate of Palatine High School and just turning 25, Christina Ray Williams is an avid lover of French culture and travel. Taking an interest in french in junior high because of her own french ancestry, Christina now works for L’Alliance Francais de Chicago.

“I have been studying since I was 12…and I studied up through university. I thought it would be a great opportunity to use my French skills” said Williams.

As the marketing and communications associate, Williams promotes L’Alliance’s events through social media and reaches out to partners that might be interested in sponsoring events in addition to working in the institution’s library.

“In addition to basic library things, I host twice a month a little cafe conversation…It’s a place where students can come and practice speaking their French…We’ve had some really interesting conversations in French about Chicago elections and education” said Williams.

During her own time as a student at Palatine High School, Williams was heavily involved during her four years.

“If I wasn’t an official member of an organization, then I was unofficially a member” Williams jokes.

To name only a few of her activities, Williams was co-chief of the yearbook her senior year, a news editor for the Cutlass, football manager for the Varsity football team, a member of the orchestra, on principal’s advisory board, math team, and scholastic bowl.

After graduating from PHS, Williams went on to major in political science at George Washington University with a concentration on African studies. She participated in a summer study abroad program called a semester at sea that took her to nine different countries being Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and Croatia with a day trip to Bosnia.

From there, she went on to teach english in South Korea in Busan through a program called the Association of School Teachers in Korea. Williams hopes to continue teaching and would like to study education development in graduate school.

“It’s a great way to travel, make money, and gain teaching skills…I kind of fell into the pattern of wanting to teach abroad, so that’s how I settled on what I wanted to get my masters in” said Williams.

Williams wishes to work in Sub-Saharan Africa in a situation where she can be working from the ground up to get more girls involved in school who belong to cultures that may not believe in education young girls and providing people with access to education.

When it comes to giving readers advice about college and financial aid, Williams urges students to never be deterred from a college because of the presented sticker price, to  research the various scholarship opportunities out there, and know the endowment of each school.

On community college, William says “I believe there is an unfair stigma about going to a junior college…If that’s something you’re more comfortable in your realm of doing, then do it. You’re still getting an education,  and you’re still bettering yourself.”

Even while she has high aspirations for herself, one of the things Williams is determined to do is remain the same humble, down to earth person she has always been

“I’m just the same cool person that went to Palatine. I love a good cup of tea and curling up in a chair by our window…When you get around, you realize that all people are the same…All the same hopes, fears, desires, dreams. A smile can get you so far in any country” urges Williams.

 

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