Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a first-generation American, Natalie experienced Lebanese culture (and hummus!) abundantly growing up. With Arabic as a native language spoken at home, she travelled frequently to her idyllic Lebanon to visit family during summers. With such vivid and powerful childhood memories, her unwavering love of travel and languages took deep roots in these experiences.
Due to Lebanon’s historical connections with France, she always had a curiosity for French. After studying the language in high school, she went on to major in French Language and Literature, and minor in Arabic Language at Grand Valley State University. She then completed a one-year Master’s degree in French at Middlebury College in Paris, specializing in French civilization and linguistics.
She now teaches at Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University. At any given moment you will most likely find her lifting weights, trying out a new recipe, or spending time with friends and family. Natalie felt like Freestyle was the perfect place to continue building on her passion for connecting with others, as Freestyle takes a fun, modern approach to language (no textbooks in sight!). She’s very excited to be a part of the Freestyle team and can’t wait to meet you in the classroom!