By Dan McDevitt
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Life can be tough when trying to navigate through it blindfolded. Sometimes people never know what the next step for them will hold. So, they try to do the best one can only hoping that life takes a fortuitous turn for the best.
The story of Christina Milewski, 27, is a testament to everyone who believes just when they think they have the blindfolded maze called life figured out, they really find that life is turning them elsewhere down another path.
Milewski was born to be a leader. The firstborn to Joe and Rose Green, she was followed by five brothers. Milewski says, “I really had to grow up quick. Being the oldest child and the only girl, I became a second mom to my younger brothers.” Despite the constant commotion in the Greens’ crowded home, Milewski managed to get straight A’s in school and always loved to learn.
“Life was good through high school,” says Milewski. “I had two wonderful parents, I enjoyed being in a large family, and high school was easy. I was on my way to a four-year school.”
However, just as her life seemed to be coasting along in the spring of her senior year in high school at Overbrook, tragedy struck the Green household. At 45 years old, Milewski’s father was diagnosed with a grade three malignant brain tumor.
Milewski says, “There was no way I could leave him and go away to college. I wanted to be home with my dad till the end of his life.” Instead of attending a university that would take her far from home, Milewski decided it would be in her best interest to attend Camden County College. One year later Joe Green died.
“It was hard on our whole family, and Christina was no exception,” says Rose Green.
After life seemed to settle down after her father’s death, Milewski, while still a full-time student, became pregnant with her firstborn son, Mike. “It definitely threw a wrench into my plans,” Christina admits. She went on to marry the father of her son, Mike Milewski, later that year. She then had two more children, Chris and Nick, in a three-year stretch, complicating her path to become a teacher.
Through all those distractions and complicated twists in Milewski’s life, she finished at Camden County College and went on to graduate from Seton Hall University with her bachelor’s degree in education last fall. She accomplished all her goals despite having to raise three young children while attending the North Jersey university.
Milewski is a long-term substitute at Pine Hill Middle School and plans to get a full-time job next fall.