Kiara Williams (B.I.S. ’21) is thriving as a founding program manager for a nonprofit organization affiliated with the City College of New York in the bustling “City That Never Sleeps.” She credits her time at Georgia State for preparing her for this role.
Interview by Jordan Ferguson
Kiara, why did you choose Georgia State?
When I was looking at schools, one thing I knew that I wanted was a diverse environment. Growing up, I felt like I wasn't surrounded by peers who thought like me, looked like me or identified the same way that I did. When I was looking at colleges, the biggest thing for me was, what are the demographics? Are they diverse, are they different? The schools that I was eyeing the most were New York University and Georgia State. At first, I didn’t want to go to Georgia State because my older sister went here, and I didn’t want to be in her shadow. But ultimately, I knew that Georgia State was a smart decision, and it definitely worked out for the best.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in?
Through Georgia State I was able to mentor with our Latino leadership initiative program, and I also served as a Welcome Center tour guide. Bringing people together and sharing my passion and excitement for the school that I love was so meaningful. I also got to do amazing things with Spotlight and the Student Programs Board where I was the daytime programs director.
That was a challenging role during the pandemic. I am so proud of how we were able to come together to have some events under those circumstances to make our students feel like they are cared about and have a fun time.
I also went to Mexico and the Dominican Republic as part of a study abroad program. So, there were a lot of back-to-back blessings during my Georgia State journey.
How has Georgia State shaped you into the person you are today?
I worked with the Multicultural Center at Georgia State, and that was such a meaningful time for me to be able to share my identity as an Afro-Latina. When I got to college, I saw that people who come from very different backgrounds can still come together. Growing up, I felt like had to be one thing and that I had to fit in this box, and I never really felt like I fit in any of the boxes. But when I got to Georgia State, the opportunity to just exist as me, share my identity and find people who relate to me was very, very meaningful.