Thank you to the Professional MBA program at the University of Illinois for sponsoring today’s Chambana Mom to Know. The Professional MBA is a MBA program that meets two nights a week (Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m.) in Champaign. Applications are being taken now. Information sessions are available on July 15 and Aug. 19 (both at 6 p.m.) at the Business Instructional Facility, 515 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign. Please RSVP at 217-244-7602 or email professionalMBA@illinois.edu.
Angela King moved with her family to Urbana four years ago by way of Hartford, Conn. She spent the first few years as a stay-at-home mom volunteering in the local schools and creating a statewide genetically engineered food labeling campaign. She also found “an awesome group of women who helped (me) navigate full-time mommy land.” A Tennessee native, King received a degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee. She now works for the University of Illinois managing design and construction projects, and is two licensure exams away from being an Architect. Angela and her husband Robert have three children, Nathan (16), Robert (9), and Selma (5), and are helping raise Robert’s 14-year-old little brother, Chris.
See why we think Angela King is a Chambana Mom to Know.
Q: In a relatively short period of time you have embraced this community and jumped right in. What has “drawn you in”?
I have the designer perspective so the scale, look, feel of it all was just right on my first visit. As I have grown and planted roots here, I have found it very easy to connect and be a part of most anything here that I want. You don’t necessarily get that access in a big city.
Q: You are active in a group looking to bring change to the community via the arts. What is the change you would like to see?
On paper, this community is very diverse however, I don’t see that diversity reflected in many of the spaces with which I have been involved. My intent is to create and support spaces where all people are and feel welcome. The engagement team at Krannert has a Making Communities Visible project and my work with them is with the young professionals initiative with overlap among many groups.
Q: You have been very active in your children’s schools. Why is it important to you to be engaged and involved in a leadership role?
Seeing people of color serve in these positions is important to building much needed bridges in our diverse — but at times divided — community. I have served as VP, Treasurer, and Silent Auction chair at Leal Elementary and as president and VP of Urbana Middle School’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). My husband has also served as the president of Urbana High School’s PTSA so being active in our schools and with our youth is definitely a household priority.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
It is very eclectic and comfortable and I feel a great sense of belonging. It is nice being able to relax wherever we are at in our busy lives at the moment and know that it is fine if our yard isn’t perfect, our children are a little dirty, and there are chickens roaming. I also really appreciate how easy it is for our children to navigate our town independent of us.
Q: What would you love to see in C-U that we don’t already have?
A centralized teen center. This is a high need and could provide so many opportunities for our young people. We are currently doing very poor at bridging this gap and providing our kids with public space to transition from child to adult.
Q: What does an ideal family weekend in C-U look like for you?
Morning in the garden, picnic in the park, nap, and afternoon at one of the infinite number of events happening in our community. Skate parks/plaza, pool, soccer, and very recently, the community Fab Lab are all top requests in my home.
Q: It’s date night. What are your plans?
Good people, food and fun. I am a fan of Sitara, Sakanaya, Escobar’s and recently V. Picasso. I prefer live performances, dancing, and wandering about discovering new gems.
Q: Tell me something most people don’t know about you.
My age. I am 31 which means I was a very young teenage parent and is a topic I have avoided for years due to judgment by others. I have worked very hard and very intentionally to reach my goals with the various challenges I have faced. It is why working with young people is near and dear to my heart because I know first-hand that with the right support and determination our dreams are possible.
Angela King was nominated to be a Chambana mom to know. Nominate a mom or dad today — it’s easy!