At the age of 13, Christina entered the Utah state foster care system with her older sister due to a family history of addiction and homelessness. She was in care for five consecutive years, where she lived with her sister in a group home, three different foster homes, and aged out at the age of 18. Early on, she navigated her personal life in foster care and balanced her professional responsibilities with work and school.
In her transition to adulthood, her value of education as her refuge and passion for learning and encouraged her to be successful and overcome various obstacles. In 2010, she landed employment with the Salt Lake City School District as a Community Education coordinator for after-school programming at an elementary and middle school. In addition to working, she pursued higher education and obtained two Associate degrees of General Education and Social Work from Salt Lake Community College in 2015. Then she transferred to the University of Utah and earned her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) in 2017 and Masters in Social Work (MSW) in 2018. Today, she is currently completing the requirements to obtain her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) licensure through her practice. She works as a licensed School Social Worker providing individual and group therapy to students in Canyons School District. She also serves as a Board Member and Youth Mentor for the First Star Foster Youth Academy at the University of Utah, to ensure foster youth have the supports needed to transition to higher education and adulthood successfully.
In September 2018, Christina participated in a Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C. on the Intersection of Medicaid and Foster Care to fix the glitch in the current Medicaid to age 26 provision. In October 2018, H.B. 4998 passed and is now a part of a bipartisan Opioid Package (H.R.6) in the Senate. In May 2019, she participated in the Family First Learning Collaborative with 17 jurisdictions in Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently working to connect with Utah’s FFPSA team on the importance of constituent engagement and successful implementation.
Her personal and professional experiences ignited her voice and inspired her to share it and advocate for policies and practices that impact current and former foster youth of all identities in various capacities.
Christina is a resilient human, social worker, educator, learner, mentor, leader, and advocate. She enjoys meditating, dancing, camping, relaxing at home and binge-watching series.