Christine Ito is a senior at the University of Washington majoring in Early Childhood and Family Studies and minoring in Education and Diversity. As the daughter of two educators, it was no surprise that Christine decided to pursue a career in education. Since the age of nine, she aspired to be an elementary school teacher. Her passion for this field was fueled by a desire to inspire students the way her own teachers inspired her with their patience, wisdom and compassion. For Christine, teaching is the ultimate form of leadership.
Over the past 3 ½ years, she has taken on leadership roles in the University of Washington (UW) community. Christine is a mentor for the UW Leaders program andfacilitates workshops for 60 freshmen and sophomores interested in developing their leadership skills within UW and the greater Seattle community. She also serves as a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) leader for UW’s First Year Programs, which focus on helping freshmen transition to college life. As a FIG leader for the past three years, Christine has led general studies seminars for freshmen, constructed weekly lesson plans, and managed a group of 20-25 students every year.
As a 2012 Mary Gates Endowment Leadership Scholar, Christine participated in UW Pipeline’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB), a program in which UW students spend their spring breaks helping K-12 students in rural communities in Washington write and publish their own books. Moved by her experiences working with kids in rural Washington, Christine created a steering committee for ASB to ensure that future UW students would have the opportunity to participate in the enriching program, which she calls “the highlight of my college career thus far.”
Her leadership roles are not limited to the University of Washington community. In 2013 Christine won the Seattle Japanese community pageant hosted by the Japanese Queen Scholarship Organization of Washington (JQSOW). A JQSOW representative, she volunteers at over 50 community events, cultural festivals, and non-profit fundraisers throughout the year and travels to Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Kobe, Japan to promote advocacy for Japanese American issues.