“Both of my parents have a strong emphasis on education and knowing what’s going on in the world around us,” Ms. Guillaume said. “They were always very encouraging of us to break out of our middle school or high school problems and think about larger forces at play.”
But Ms. Guillaume’s parents did not want her to spend so much time at The Crimson, hoping she would pursue medicine or law. “It’s the classic immigrant parent narrative,” Ms. Guillaume said. She let out a sigh. “There’s a lot of tension that I don’t take more science classes.”
Ms. Guillaume said she planned to pursue a doctorate in African-American studies and a career in academia, with some writing on the side. She cited the author Ta-Nehisi Coates as a role model.
At Townsend Harris High School in Queens, Ms. Guillaume edited the literary magazine, The Phoenix, which had a rivalry with the school’s newspaper, The Classic, where her younger sister, Isabelle, now serves as editor in chief.
At Harvard, Ms. Guillaume has edited Let’s Go travel guides on the side, a job that included a stint as a reporter in Léon, France. And for the past three years, she has been part of The Crimson’s “news board,” which is what the newspaper calls the editors and reporters who cover the campus and beyond. She has written on immigration and, taking on one of the paper’s most high-pressure beats, has covered the school’s leadership. In a recent article, she wrote that, for the first time, four of Harvard’s schools were led by black women.
“She is able to command a room, but also be a really friendly, approachable presence,” said Leah Yared, a senior who has mentored Ms. Guillaume at The Crimson, including discussing coverage and writing articles with her at Tasty Burger on Harvard Square.
Ms. Yared, one of the few black women in the paper’s top echelon, helped with the process of choosing the Crimson president this year. The students involved in the Turkey Shoot followed a process that included implicit bias training.