Kristen Williams was born and raised in Inglewood, California. Growing up, the value of earning a college degree was instilled in her at a very young age. While attending predominantly white middle school and high school, she became more aware of the inequalities people of color face while pursuing this journey. As the youngest of three, she also witnessed the journey to pursuing higher education through her two older sisters and her parents, who did not have much knowledge about the college admissions process at the time.
She watched her parents search for resources regarding SAT/ACT prep, financial aid literacy, and so much more. By the time she began the college admissions process, her parents applied the knowledge they had gained to help with her own journey, while also becoming resources for other students of color at her school. Through her parents’ work, she has witnessed that while access to resources can change lives, gaining access can be extremely difficult, especially for students of color. She is honored to be part of an organization that prioritizes providing students with the necessary resources needed to be successful in college and beyond.
Prior to working for the Campaign for College Opportunity, Kristen was involved in facilitating community dialogues around social justice-related topics as an Intercultural Development Leader at her alma mater. She also worked on the Executive Team as the event planner for the Black cultural night at Saint Mary’s, called Expressions of Blackness.
Kristen recently graduated with a B.S. in Child/ Adolescent Psychology from Saint Mary’s College of California, Class of 2021.
Why I Do What I Do: I believe that regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., all students should have access to the resources necessary for succeeding in college and beyond.
Alma Mater: Saint Mary’s College of California (Go Gaels!)
Your role in one sentence: Supporting the Executive team and other staff members by performing a wide range of administrative tasks and overseeing the LA office operations.
When I am not at work helping students get to succeed in college I am… usually spending time with my friends and family or watching cringey reality TV
If not higher education, then what cause? Increasing access to mental health services for all and removing the stigma of receiving mental health assistance that is usually present in the lives of people of color, specifically Black women.