2016 Scholarship Recipient
Cristal Ortiz- Valencia is the Beth Longwell Foundation 2016 College Scholarship recipient. Cristal is a graduate of Palo Alto High School where she participated in the Latinos Unidos Club, the First Generation Club, and a new class specifically started to help first generation students with the college process. She also volunteered at the Palo Alto Community Child Care Center.
Cristal started her freshman year at Chico State University this fall and is the first person in her family to attend a four-year university. She was raised by her mother, a single parent, and has one younger sister. Cristal's hard work was motivated by her mother's hard work to support her family, by her aunt, and her desire to be a role model for her younger sister. Cristal explains, "I have seen my mother financially struggle day by day in order to give my sister and me a little more than the essentials. When I am older I want to be able to support my mother, both financially and emotionally, the way she has done with me since I was young."
Cristal hopes that by attending college, she will have more career opportunities. Cristal explained, "I would love to become a Clinical Psychologist, one who will provide help to people that are in need. Seeing how hard my mother has worked to raise my sister and me to become respectable people has always motivated me to do better since she never had the chance." She is excited to experience college and hopes to join a society, make new friends, learn more about herself, and finally graduate with her family in the audience witnessing her success.