Through her outstanding work, incredible humility, and extraordinary personality and self-awareness, Christen demonstrates a perfect example for women of all ages. "Remember those that have come before you and plan for those that will soon come after." Wiser words have yet to be spoken but that's what makes Christen Baskerville our #WCW.
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
There are a lot of small things that make me unique. There’s my extremely loud and distinct laugh with the occasional snort, my uncanny excitement over food, and the best one of them all? My ability to pick up a multitude of objects with my toes. I say these because in all honesty, my story isn’t very unique, but rather something that a lot of others can relate to. It is full of love, support, and privilege but it wouldn’t be my story if I didn’t mention the disappointment, tears, and obstacles that got in the way. At the end of the day, I still believe that I am blessed beyond measure and favored because I am often quite confused as to why good things still continue to happen to me. In my honest opinion, I am completely undeserving and owe it all to the people that have come before me.
I’m the definition of the old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I’m the person that I am today because I’ve been surrounded by a group of elders that had to be divinely sent to my family and me; particularly the women. These women are driven, intelligent, strong-willed, wise, and are living life to the fullest and I believe that they were purposefully placed in my life to help guide me through this crazy thing called life. They’ve empowered me to not only blaze my own trail, but to also do it a little better than they did (if that’s even possible!). While they feel that I’m going to be the next big thing, I’m worried about having some big shoes to fill!
2. What motivates you?
I’m motivated by those that have come before me and the future girls that will soon be in my place. My family has sacrificed so much for my benefit. I want them to know that those financial, physical, and emotional obstacles that they had to endure were not a waste. On the other end, I have a little sister who is sixteen years old and I want her and her friends to know that while you are a woman, and on top of that an African American woman, you can still be a force to be reckoned with.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
Anyone that knows me will see my answer coming from a mile away. Her name is Angela Michelle Waites Baskerville and she is my mother. My ultimate goal in life is to have a family and if I’m half the mom that she is, I will be content. I won’t recount her story because that is hers to tell, but let’s just say that she wasn’t as privileged as her own kids were when she was growing up. This woman’s drive and perseverance is something that every leader should possess and on top of that, she’s actually kind of cute! The biggest compliment you can give me is to say that I remind you of Ang. I always say that she’s not a perfect being, but she’s the perfect mommy for me.
4. What's your future plan? Your goals?
Whenever I get asked this question, I always say that my goal is to pet a tiger. I am very serious
about this and it will happen at some point in time. However, the goal right now is to have a job offer before graduation in Atlanta. I want to be close to my mom and sister because she’s going into her senior year of high school. If she is anything like me when I was that age, that’s going to be a very high maintenance year! As to what that job will be, I’m not really sure! I would love to find a job that incorporates event planning, marketing, and sports but I also don’t want to put myself into a box. There’s still so much to learn and I’m open to just about anything in those fields. The end goal however, is to come back to Athens and work for the university in some type of capacity. UGA has an amazing administration that is influencing student’s lives in a positive way. I want to eventually be apart of that!
5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
My favorite scripture has grown to be my mantra whenever I’m feelings overwhelmed by life. Whenever my anxiety starts to creep up, Proverbs 12:25 pops into my head and I repeat it over and over again until I’m okay. “An anxious heart weighs a man down but a good word makes him glad.” It’s so simple but also very powerful to me. We can sit and let those feelings fester in ourselves or we can choose to be filled with the joys in life to make everything okay. Yes, I have five assignments due by Friday but I also have a bed to sleep in, clothes on my back, and food on the table! I’m a chronic optimist!
6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)
Food! My sophomore year of college, I became sick and it took six months and two different doctors to figure out what was wrong. Basically, my body wasn’t absorbing the nutrients from the food I was eating which resulted in an overall deterioration of my health. While tests were being done, my doctor put me on a special diet to combat some of the symptoms and I immediately started to feel a little better despite taking any kind of medication. Everything that I ate had to either be from the earth or a lean meat. This meant that I was only eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and chicken. It sounds restrictive but it made me very aware of the things that I was using to fuel my body. Food can be a powerful medicine and if we all start nourishing our temples a little better, our lives would be so much different! Now I still love fries, donuts, and cinnamon toast crunch but it’s all about having a balance.
7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
This past March, my good friend BeAna and I completed a Spartan Race. It was five miles long, had over 20 obstacles, and took us over 3 hours to finish. I would also like to point out that neither of us had been to the gym in months. I’m a seasonal fitness junky and this was my way of proving to myself that I was mentally and physically tough. The only thing that I regret is not training for it because the soreness that I felt the next day was unlike anything that I had ever felt before! I literally couldn’t move and it lasted for a week. I was extremely proud of myself and keep my medal in plain sight so that I can see it!
If you'd like to reach out to Christen for mentorship/networking opportunities, you can email her at ChristenJoi@gmail.com