Years in care: 11 years
Cristal entered the Kern County foster care system at the age of one; she spent a total of eleven years in care. She exited care at the age seventeen when she was able to leave Bakersfield to attend her dream school, San Diego State University. After turning eighteen, she was able to participate in Extended Foster Care, where she experienced some challenges; but she was able to look to extra resources like the Guardian Scholars Program. Although Cristal experienced instability and multiple moves in care, she remained motivated to do well in the classroom, not only for herself but also so that she could remain a positive role model for her eight brothers and sisters.
Cristal will be entering her fourth year this coming fall, double majoring in Women’s Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies in Three Departments. After receiving her Bachelor’s, she would like to get into a graduate program in School Psychology. Cristal’s education is very important to her, as it has been the one thing that has been consistent in her life and has helped her grow in a tremendous amount of ways. She hopes to advocate for foster youth and their education by one day becoming a School Psychologist where she can work specifically with youth in foster care. Cristal is involved in various organizations on and off campus; some include: the Hispanic Business Student Association, SOAR Mentor Program, Alpha Pi Sigma Sorority Inc., Educational Opportunity Program, and United Latino Students. When she is not running around participating or planning events, she likes to read, dance, and paint.