CTK Experience Helps Class of 2020 Grad's Transition to College

While not yet the full freshman experience, recent CTK grad, Christian Washington is grateful for the opportunity to begin attending college at Columbia College. He lives in campus housing in downtown Chicago with three roommates. He’s comfortable in the city, and is glad to be close to home. He said, “I worked downtown in my CTK job, so while it’s a new experience to be living here, I feel that I know my way around a bit.”

An audio art major, Christian is taking five classes, all virtually, three in his major, plus required writing and math classes. His career goal is to get into the production side of the music industry, and eventually own a recording studio. He credits his CTK experience with easing his transition to college.  He cites being prepared for his first college quiz in math as a “confidence boost”, having covered much of the material in an honors math class at CTK taught by Mr. Michael Laughlin.  He also stated that juggling schoolwork, his Corporate Work Study Program job, and a full slate of activities including football, basketball, mock trial, spoken word, and student government at CTK has given him confidence that he can handle the rigors of college while working a part-time job at CVS. He credits his work experience at William Blair with honing his attention to details, communication skills, and business etiquette. “I had a chance to experience things that my classmates are just now starting to be exposed to. It makes me feel like I’m a step ahead.”

At the 2020 CTK graduation, Christian was surprised to be selected as one of two recipients of the Grad at Grad award. This meant a lot to him, as he had attempted to model his character after the Grad at Grad traits while at CTK. His favorite Grad at Grad quality has become Committed to Justice. “Being in the real world, you see a lot of things that are unfair and unjust. I feel it is our responsibility as citizens to speak and act on injustices, and to be willing to help others in need.” A second Grad at Grad he definitely embraced while at CTK, is Being Open to Growth. This comes out in his advice to his twin siblings and current sophomores at CTK, “To be open-minded and take advantage of the opportunities available to you at CTK. Doing so helps you to learn more about yourself and the world. So if you are interested in something, go for it! You never know how life-changing those experiences could be.”