Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Christine Colligan immigrated to the United States on May 31, 1983, as a translator for students who attended Morven Park Equestrian Institute in Leesburg. She eventually relocated to New York City, where she worked as a jewelry designer while attending the Parsons New School for Design. She met her future husband while attending a shoe designing class; they married and have two daughters, Sarah and Becky.
In 2000, Ms. Colligan was elected President of the Korean American Parents Association of Greater New York, Inc. (KAPA-GNY), where she has successfully organized the annual “Teachers’ Day Celebration” and “Respect Your Teachers as Your Own Parents” events for the past fifteen years.
Ms. Colligan has been serving as a parent coordinator at Junior High School #189 in Flushing, Queens, since 2003. As coordinator, she is steadfast in her mission to encourage parents to get involved with their children’s education. With that in mind, she hosts monthly parent workshops where she relays current, updated information from the New York City Department of Education, serving as a bridge between public schools and Korean American parents whose mission is to help their children achieve to the best of their ability.
To further expand children’s opportunities, Ms. Colligan launched an international inter-governmental education program between the New York City Department of Education and the Education Department in Pusan, South Korea. The program allowed 50 outstanding Korean teachers to visit New York City public schools in 2008, in order for them to experience and learn about the American educational system and to share their ideas. Along these same lines, in 2009 and 2010, Ms. Colligan was selected to serve as an Ambassador of Teach and Learn In Korea (TALK), a scholarship program for American college students who are interested in teaching English at rural elementary schools in Korea.
A multi-talented cross cultural singer, Ms. Colligan plays violin for the orchestra at the Korean American Presbyterian Church of Queens, and was a guest singer at the first and second Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration at I.S. 237. She is fl uent in English, Korean and Japanese, and is currently learning Spanish and Chinese.
Ms. Colligan was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1954, the middle child of nine children to Jong Ja Lee and Soon Sung Choi, a developer of the first car made in Korea created from scrap metal from Jeeps used by the United States Army.
Ms. Colligan is a proud woman who loves America and hopes to continue helping her community to grow and prosper.