Assistant Ship Life Editor Chaela Williams is the Slater of the Month for October because of her passion and dedication to the role she plays.
Williams’ identity as a Jamaican is of the utmost importance to her. While she and her sister, Amira, are first-generation Americans, Williams’ parents were both born in Kingston, Jamaica. She is very family-oriented and very close to her friends.
Chaela describes her father as a very cool man. He would sing along to “High School Musical” in the car and went with her to see the band One Direction. Her mother, Carol, brought music into the family and pushed Chaela and her sister to be musically inclined. While Amira played cello, Chaela played the clarinet and was a member of the marching band in high school.
Her mother also taught Chaela the value of toughness, and how to be independent. Her mother was always an intellectual thinker.
Williams said her mother drilled into her that “Reading is fundamental.”
Williams’ talent as a journalist is backed up by her dedication to and passion for whatever she sets her eyes on. While she is a very lighthearted personality, Williams never hesitates to step up and help others in need, and she genuinely wants what is best for The Slate.
Williams’ focus has been on event coverage, and she has focused on preparing and writing a “Recipe of the Week” in the Ship Life section. She has also spearheaded “Question of the Week” and is determined to see more diverse voices be heard on her section’s page. Williams never takes “no” for an answer — when something is impossible, she asks how she can make it possible.
Williams graduated from Carlisle High School in 2017, and coming to Shippensburg has helped her appreciate the cultural aspects Carlisle had to offer. While Williams hopes to live in a big city someday, she would not mind retiring to a community like Carlisle.
Since she was young, Williams loved writing. Back before she knew what sentence structure was, she was writing little stories. Her goal was to write novels all her life and win prestigious awards for her work.
“I realized as I got older that it might take a while to become a New York Times bestseller,” Williams said.
So, Williams decided to pursue journalism when she was 13 or 14 years old to compliment her interests in celebrities, beauty and fashion.
This was around the time she first took an interest in magazines such as Teen Vogue, Tiger and Vox. Williams was interested in people who interviewed celebrities like Zendaya and One Direction.
“People call it shallow, but at the same time it’s just as important as sports and news,” Williams said.
Talking to celebrities on the red carpet and at the Oscars, AMAs and billboard awards is a dream of Williams. But for now, she settles for representing SU’s campus in her work.
“What I actually really like about working at The Slate is going to events and giving students and professors a voice in our newspaper, and covering different aspects of campus life,” Williams said.
“I’ve only officially been on staff for maybe about three months as an assistant…” Williams said. “I feel grateful for being Slater of the Month in such a short period of me being on staff.”