Christine Galib 2018

'Wise Woman' Christine Galib
 
 
Wisdom is defined as having and applying experience, knowledge and good judgment –– qualities Christine Galib has demonstrated well. So well, in fact, she was honored recently as the recipient of Houston Woman Magazine’s 2018 Wise Woman Award.

Galib accepted the award at the magazine’s 12th Annual Nominate HER Awards Luncheon, held August 22 at the Junior League of Houston. Galib was nominated for the award by Samantha Desmarais.

Galib is the director of the Entrepreneurship Diploma Program at The Village School, a private Pre-K through Grade 12 school in West Houston. 

Through the Entrepreneurship Diploma Program — the only one of its kind in the country —  Galib teaches high schoolers about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, leadership development, negotiations, private equity and venture capital, marketing and strategy and decision-making. The program also promotes the CHANGE-Driven Entrepreneur’s Mindset, which prepares students to navigate non-linear careers, apply systems thinking to complex challenges and lead sustainable and creative change.

“Entrepreneurship Diploma candidates take core courses and design and implement their own business,” Galib said. “A requirement for graduation is pitching their business, Shark Tank-style, to their peers, their parents, administrators and business leaders in the area.”

Current students’ start-ups run the gamut from bread-making to designing apps, she said.

A native of Pennsylvania, Galib graduated from Princeton University and made her way to Houston in 2014, but with many interesting stops along the way. After college, Galib worked on Wall Street, where she co-founded an investment management group to help nonprofits and endowments grow scholarships and fund missions.

“It was 2008, and it was a very stressful time,” Galib said, referring to the economy.

People around her turned to maladaptive behaviors to manage stress. In this context, Galib’s own self-care practices led her, in 2010, to develop Plan My Plate, a health and wellness consulting company that teaches mindfulness, meditation, life-style management, yoga and nutrition. Galib became an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach to focus on promoting positive health outcomes and lasting behavioral changes in individuals. She then took her work to the classroom, to share with students.

Through Teach for America, Galib taught health and wellness and science, while earning her master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Since she had majored in English and medieval history, Galib developed some creative methods to teach science.

“I was able to teach in a way that wasn’t your typical lecture style. I’d say things like ‘make your own comic and that’s going to be your assignment to show me you understand states of matter,'” she said.

Galib also drew from her theatre background to make learning creative, student-driven and experiential.

Galib commented, “I would say ‘put together a skit that shows you understand.’ And, my students would say, ‘that’s crazy, but we love it.’”

While teaching in Philadelphia, she was approached to reapply her Wall Street knowledge and skills to teach financial literacy, investing and entrepreneurship in communities. This prompted the creation of another business — Bridges to Wealth, where she taught financial literacy and entrepreneurship boot camps for parents in the evenings.

“People who had never invested before developed their investment management skills and created a community of wealth that actually enabled them to invest real money in the stock market and make real returns,” Galib added.

Another part of Bridges to Wealth’s mission was teaching financial and business literacy to students, during the school day.

Bridges to Wealth can be credited with increasing the investing returns of its participants –– many in underserved areas in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles –– by more than eight times.

Bridges to Wealth was also the impetus for the Entrepreneurship Diploma program at The Village School, where Galib landed –– first to create and direct a wellness program  — after arriving in Houston to work on a project for the Department of Education.

Galib loves mentoring her young femle students in the same way other strong, savvy women mentored her along her own non-linear path. She offers advice when students ask about negotiating their first salary or how to change perceptions and treatment of women in the workplace and world.

“Galib doesn’t know what the jobs of the future will be,” commented  Desmarais. “But she is teaching people to be flexible and adaptive so they succeed in pursuing and creating their own careers and paths. In Houston’s rapidly growing innovation scene, Galib works directly with the leaders who will continue to change our world for the better."

Deborah Quinn Hensel is a freelance journalist and staff reporter for Houston Woman Magazine.
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