Cristina was born on the south side of Chicago. Cristina’s family moved to Whiting, IN in 1990, when she was an infant. Her parents migrated to the United States in 1971. Cristina had a typical childhood but became pregnant with her daughter at the age of eighteen. Cristina had to complete her senior year in Whiting High School and felt that she had disappointed her family. Cristina was not going to give up as she knew that completing her high school education was just a milestone in her long-term educational goals. Cristina graduated from Whiting High School in June 2007 and started a job at a local retail store in July. While pregnant, she began attending Purdue University in August or that same year. She gave birth to her daughter in November and managed to finish her first semester successfully! Cristina graduated from Purdue University Northwest with a bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Science: Child and Family Services and a Spanish minor in May of 2012.
Now as a first-generation college graduate, she knew that she wanted to return to school, but now she had to endure the additional struggles that life brought her. Now juggling graduate school while caring for her ill mother and becoming a single mother of two while going through a divorce tested her willpower. Cristina was determined and dedicated to her studies and wanted to further her education. There were many times that Cristina doubted herself and her abilities to complete graduate school as a single mother of two small children, along with all the additional stresses of life. Although experiencing many challenges, she can proudly say that nothing was able to interfere with her vision. Not even being in the middle of a pandemic deterred her from accomplishing the academic goals. Cristina earned her master’s degree in Social Work from Indiana University Northwest in June 2020!
Having experienced many obstacles firsthand, Cristina understands the different dynamics of families and the importance of having a positive support system in place to be successful. She is dedicated to help families using her experience and education and has now become a board of director for My Family’s Village.