Our class cohorts at the French Beauty Academy are named after pioneering women who inspire us. Our Williams cohort is named after Serena Williams, the inspirational tennis player, in the hopes that it would serve as a reminder for our students to keep going despite first-day nerves or assessment stress. The former number one world champion in women’s single tennis has won more Grand Slam titles than any other woman or man in the open era. Not only is Serena a talented and dedicated athlete, she has influenced our sporting culture, community, athletics, and the way we view them in many ways. Throughout her career, she has overcome many hurdles as a woman of colour in sport; breaking down racial and gender based barriers to become the champion she is today.
Williams inspires us as she has demonstrated true sportsmanship throughout her career. One example of this was when she famously lost the 2018 Grand Slam final to Naomi Osaka. When the post-match interview took place, Williams bravely took the microphone to calm the loud, angry, booing crowd to defend her opponent Naomi and offer her support. The French celebrate women supporting women and use pioneers like Serena to encourage our students to do the same. “The success of every woman should be an inspiration to another,” says Serena. “ We should raise each other up. Be strong, be extremely kind and above all, be humble.”
Serena established the Serena Williams Foundation in 2008 with the primary purpose of promoting education and equality for children in other nations. Williams is extremely generous with her time and has worked with many charities to design and build new schools. The Serena Williams’ Foundation, in collaboration with Helping Hands Jamaica, helped develop the Salt Marsh Elementary School in Jamaica in 2019. Williams is currently a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, where she works to establish schools and educate disadvantaged children. UNICEF focuses these projects mostly on children in Africa and Asia, but Williams’ contributions to children’s education go well beyond that.
Empowering women is core to our philosophy at The French – and we couldn’t have chosen a more suitable candidate for our students to take example from. She not only has inspired women around the world to embrace their power and chase their dreams but has positively impacted thousands of children’s lives by creating educational opportunities for underprivileged youth. Not to mention her dedication within her sport and consistently breaking records in tennis, Serena has done it all!
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