Monday, May 10, 2010

Student Spotlight: Mylana Williams

15-year-old Mylana Williams is the middle child of 27 siblings! She has 17 brothers and nine sisters. She says her family likes to talk, have fun, and fight in a playful way. Her mom’s side is from Birmingham, Alabama, and her dad’s side is from Atlanta, Georgia. Mylana has always lived in Chicago which she loves because of its diverse population and easy transportation. She enjoys meeting different kinds of people and not being restricted without a car. When she’s older she wants to move to California, New York, or Atlanta to pursue a career in acting. She says the key to acting is, “Find out who you are first before you try to be someone else.” That’s great insight!

Mylana attends Providence St. Mel School on Chicago’s west side where she is in the ninth grade. She says it is an excellent school that will get her into college, but she wishes it had more of a performing arts focus. One of Mylana’s dreams is to open a network of performing arts schools. Each school would be “a safe haven for kids to escape from issues” and admittance would be free.

Mylana loves plays, especially Shakespeare, because “they give you a deeper connection with the world.” One of her favorite subjects is English because “it actually makes you think” and “grammar comes easy.” She is also good at math. Maintaining excellence in those two subjects will prove very helpful when the ACT comes around. Good luck!

In addition to acting, Mylana is interested in studying criminal psychology and working as a correctional officer in a prison or jail. She has known family members who have been incarcerated who come back different and tell stories about what is wrong with the prison system. Mylana wants to start programs in these facilities to give inmates something to do and raise their confidence. She looks forward to researching more about this topic and learning from her mom who is a social worker.

Mylana was introduced to Cabrini Connections by her best friend, Ashaunti Roby, who is a three year veteran of the program. Her mentor is Jessica Cooper. They each came to the program for the first time on the same night and they hit it off from the start. “She’s not just a mentor,” says Mylana. “She’s my friend, too. I love Jessica!” Mylana appreciates Jessica’s style as a mentor. “She’s not hovering over me treating me like I’m dumb, but she’s there when I need her.” Mylana is also a fan of the program overall. “I like what it’s doing for the kids,” she says. “If it wasn’t for Cabrini Connections, I would probably be outside doing something I have no business doing.”

We’re glad you have chosen to spend Thursday nights with us, Mylana. I hope this year is your first of many in the program! Mylana will be one of the student MCs at the Year-End Dinner, so everyone can look forward to meeting her there.

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