Lights, Camera, Action, we announce to the stage Cristina Blacio, singing her Grammy award winning single “Arrive”. Is the ultimate dream job Cristina would be doing if she wasn’t graduating with Honors from the College of Business & Economics in Management. But when life gives you lemons you make lemonade and Cristina, swapped her passion for music to DEI- “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion”.
“Sometimes life doesn’t happen how you plan it” Cristina says reflecting on her pathway to the College of Business and Economics. She first began her studies at Pasadena College, but the passing of her mother forced her to direct her energy to working. “It was survival” Cristina says it stoically. She put all her focus working fulltime and when the opportunity arrived, she rose to the occasion.
“There were times I questioned, if I was going to be able to go back” Cristina professes. They joy on Cristina faces, reflects the doubt, did not with the battle for this Honors College. Cristina’s keeping her mother legacy alive, with every all nightery and new cup of coffee.
Upon enrolling at Cal State LA, Cristina set her sights on Business-Management, due to working full-time, Cristina had to prioritize and arrange her schedule to fit around her work schedule. With a heavy school load and work schedule, Cristina managed to be a member of the Honors College.
As a first-generation Latina student Cristina has faced the “first” from every direction, she’s crossed. DEI became a joy and a calling to fill a gap from a firsthand point of view. Cristina aims to make the playing fill more equal; allowing diverse voices, a chance to shine. “It’s not whose going to let me, but who’s going to stop me” Cristina states reflecting on her
journey and the potential obstacles to come. Her mission is to effect change in leadership to create and further, a DEI that celebrates diversity and inclusion.
A cup of coffee, silence and 15 mins is what helps keep Cristina grounded and balanced. Juggling work and school full time, can become overwhelming, but these moments offer Cristina time to reset. And when she needs a little extra push, she workouts.
What is the legacy Cristina wants to leave behind? “One she’s proud of big or small” Cristina says reflecting on the moments at her mother funeral.
“It was standing room, with people coming up to her near and far, informing her of the impact her mother left on them. It was beautiful to hear and left a lasting impression with Cristina wanting to leave this same impact.
Lastly, what’s next for this rising star? Graduate school. Cristina wants to continue her education but first deserves a breather. Take some time to breathe, take-in this milestone, while basking in her favorite dishes and enchiladas verdes and pozole. And if we’re lucky, we might catch her singing her favorite tune, in the style of carpool karaoke.