5Q4 Christine Tam Hero

Christine Tam, LCSW, joins Nueva with 10+ years of experience in various community behavioral health settings as a psychotherapist and mental health program administrator. Many of these years have been devoted to serving children, youth, and families with an emphasis on culturally competent care to Asian American communities. Most recently, she was the Director of School- and Community-Based Services at Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) in Redwood City.

Originally from Hong Kong, her family immigrated to the Midwest when she was 10 years old. She completed both her undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology and her master’s degree in clinical social work at the University of Chicago.  She currently lives in Foster City with her husband, Andy, and her young daughters, Zoe and Addy. When she’s not working, you can find her making art with her daughters, exploring the outdoors with her family, practicing yoga at the PJCC, or dabbling in her newly found hobby, watercolor.  

 

1. How did you find your way to Nueva? 

I learned about Nueva when my husband and I were looking at schools for my daughter Zoe. I attended a campus tour and was blown away by the way in which the school approached education. In so many ways, Nueva’s teaching philosophies mirror so much of my own work as a therapist. After the tour, I periodically checked the school’s website for potential opportunities, and here I am!

2. Tell us about your new job at Nueva. How will you be working with students?

I will be one of the school counselors for the Middle and Upper Schools, where I will have the pleasure of supporting students emotionally through challenges, big and small. I look forward to meeting students individually and in small groups as well as through campuswide wellness outreach and promotional events. Additionally, I look forward to being a resource to teachers and staff in helping them support student wellness. 

3. How did you get into watercolor? What inspires most of your artwork? 

Watercolor is a very new interest of mine. To be honest, I’m not sure what possessed me to pick up a brush and start painting one day. I’ve always liked watercolor as an art form. I had several watercolor prints in my old office and follow a couple of watercolor artists whose work I love. I guess one day I just wanted to try it. I signed up for an online beginners’ class and found myself really enjoying it. As far as inspirations, I’d say nature inspires me the most. I’m in the midst of a challenge where I learn to paint a different flower each day for 31 days. I’m on day 13, and it’s been super fun! 

4. You spent many years living in the Midwest. What do you miss most? What do you miss least?

Being close to friends with whom I grew up during the formative years of my life is definitely the thing I miss most. I also miss the vibrant and cosmopolitan feel of Chicago. What I don’t miss for sure is the weather! After being in perfect Bay Area weather over the past 10 years, I can’t imagine ever going back to Chicago’s subfreezing winters and sticky, humid summers. People say that the Bay Area makes people “soft.” I’m the first to admit that I’ve definitely become soft. 

5. If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

Power of mimicry! I am someone who enjoys trying and learning new skills. I’d love to be able to tumble like Simone Biles, play the piano like Yuja Wang, or dance like Yuan Yuan Tan just by watching them!

 


September 8, 2017

 

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