Christie Peralta: Listening to her Inner Voice

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Checking the "business major" box on her college application got Christie Peralta an offer to enroll as a freshman in the Milgard School of Business.

Christie Peralta, Milgard School Freshman Direct Admit student. Photo by Cody Char.FIRST-YEAR STUDENT

What if you volunteered to run the concession stand at your high school football games? You thought you'd inspire a bunch of other students to get involved. And that you’d end up with a crack team of skilled retailers pulling in tons of money for worthy causes.

But what if, instead, more often than not, you were the only one. The only one opening, setting up, selling, closing down.

If you were Christie Peralta, you wouldn’t let that get you down. And you’d still pull in tons of money for worthy causes.

Christie grew up in Federal Way and attended Todd Beamer High School. She did the concession stand thing as part of her involvement with Key Club International, a student-led service organization affiliated with Kiwanis International.

Each year funds are raised at schools across the country. The year that Christie served as president of her school’s chapter, they raised funds for The Eliminate Project, an international effort to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, which kill more than 60,000 newborn children and mothers every year.

Christie’s parents are Filipino. Her mother works as a barista at SeaTac airport. Christie never herself thought she would be in college, but she had an English teacher in high school who helped Christie develop a plan for her future. She crafted a resume, learned about college requirements, visited campuses, and explored financial aid.

It was one of those campus visits that convinced Christie UW Tacoma was her dream school. The size was right—the campus felt to her homey and cozy. She was interested in business as a major, but almost put “undecided” on her application. Instead, she took a chance and checked the business box. Lo and behold, she got invited to enter the Milgard School of Business directly as a first-year student. (Learn more about the Freshman Direct Admit Program.)

Now she can’t wait for the academic year to start—making new friends with other first-year students intent on a business degree, extending the practical knowledge she gained as a retail entrepreneur in high school.

As for that business box on the UW Tacoma application, she’s glad she listened to her inner voice, telling her, “Why not try it? It’s better to accept an opportunity rather than reject it.”

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Written by: 
John Burkhardt / October 2, 2015
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or