My name is Allison Tanis and I am a 2013 Chicago Christian High School graduate. Today I am living in Germany on an 18-month assignment through my company, Aldi Corporation. It was in high school when I developed my love for international people and cultures. During sophomore year, I participated in the CCHS international mission trip to Guatemala. This was the first country I had ever visited outside of the United States. I loved everything about it. Our group stayed at an orphanage and helped paint, build, and play with the kids who lived there. At the age of 16, I was finally starting to understand that the world I knew was much bigger than my small Chicago neighborhood. I immediately got the opportunity to experience more cultures when CCHS sent out an e-mail blast asking for host families for exchange students. My family of six all agreed that this was something we were called to do. The following year we hosted a Chinese exchange student, Katherine, and loved it so much we hosted her the year after as well. Katherine became a part of our family. When she invited me to visit her family in China after graduating from high school, I went. I highly recommend anyone who is even remotely interested to open up their home and become a host family. It is a challenging but rewarding experience that will make you grow in more ways than you can imagine.
After CCHS, I attended Moraine Valley Community College for a year. I knew I loved people and cultures but was not sure what I wanted to do after that. The next school year I transferred to Illinois State University. ISU had a double transfer degree program where I could attend as an International Business and Finance major and then in my third year, I could study abroad at Universität Paderborn, Germany. This would allow me to graduate from Germany with a Bachelor's degree in International Economics and graduate from ISU with an International Business and Finance degree. Even abroad in Germany, my connections from CCHS never disappeared. Across Europe, I have been able to visit previous CCHS exchange students that I never dreamed of seeing again. I am very thankful for these lifelong friends all over the world; it truly makes a difference, whether having a homesick weekend in your apartment or an adventure in a new city with a familiar face.
After graduating from college, I began working for Aldi Corporation U.S. in their Finance department in Batavia, IL. Two years into the job, I received the chance to move to Germany for 18 months to work on one of their biggest projects yet. I took this opportunity and got on a plane to Düsseldorf, Germany, in July of 2019.
I owe Chicago Christian High School for sparking my love for traveling and different cultures. It was here I was able to learn what it means to be a steward of God on a global level. It was here I had my first international trip. It was here I became friends with people from all over the world. It was here I developed a strong personal foundation that helped me go out into the world with confidence, knowing I would do more than survive. Throughout all my moving around, there was a Bible verse that has always stuck with me. Isaiah 6:8 says “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”. Over the years I have struggled with what I want to do and where I want to go, but I knew from my first mission trip, that I am ready to go wherever God is leading me.