Crystal

Crystal
San Francisco State University
Major: Psychology

Transfer: Pasadena City College

Did you always want to go to college?
Yes. As a kid, school was a great escape—it was always there and the one consistent thing.

What motivated you?
I love myself too much. I refuse to be a product of my own environment. When you come out of the system, you feel lost. You need to learn to love yourself enough to care about your future.

I was 18 or 19 having this problem when I was in and out of a mental health hospital. I was a mess and unstable. I came to the realization that I loved myself too much to let myself down. I sought  my own therapist and explained my situation. Most therapists charged more than I could afford, but there was one who told me she would accept whatever I could afford. She was a huge help.

What are you majoring in? Why?
I want to major in Psychology, and eventually get my masters or Ph.D. I want to provide youth with mental health programs.

What is the biggest way Guardian Scholars helped you?
I was pretty proactive in getting what I needed to attend school, but Guardian Scholars was really there for me. I felt that they were advocating for me and that I wasn’t just another number in the system.

Some former foster youth find it difficult to tell others that they were in foster care. Why do you think that is? How do you feel?
Well, I wear it like a badge. I don’t perceive it as a bad thing anymore. I wouldn’t change it because that is a part of who you are. It is a tool, a life experience.

I was in foster care from age 12 to 18. After I aged out, my mother stayed with me. She was released from jail, and I helped her to get stable. I also got custody of my younger sisters. I use this to make me stronger.

If you could give a message to all current foster youth, what would you say?
Stay in school, pursue higher education, and stay persistent, because it will lead to opportunities.