Meet Our 2011 Spirit Award Recipient

Christina Rodriguez

Christina is a 20-year-old junior studying Nursing at Stony Brook University. She is the recipient of the 2011 New Yorkers For Children Spirit Award. Christina’s academic achievement, commitment to community service, and her motivation to succeed in school despite significant obstacles make her an outstanding and deserving recipient for this year’s Spirit Award.

Christina never envisioned herself going to college. At a young age, she and her siblings were placed in foster care and moved from home to home. She was later taken in by a caring foster family and it was then she felt cared for and supported for the very first time. When Christina was placed in foster care, she was determined to assist other youth in foster care who face similar struggles. She hopes to be a role model and inspiration to abused and neglected youth, and instill the message that they can achieve anything with perseverance and hard work.

Christina’s interest in community service began with her involvement as the President of the Ushers Ministry at the St. Albans Baptist Church. In this role, she developed leadership skills by guiding and managing her fellow ushers through their weekly tasks at the church. Christine’s sense of service is evident with her active involvement with campus activities. She is the Vice President of her school’s Alternative Spring Break Program, whose mission this year was to help restore the Florida Gulf Coast after the devastating effects of the oil spill. She is also the Community Service Chair for Habitat for Humanity and is part of the Pre-Nursing Society. In addition, she has written several articles for Represent Magazine, a magazine written for youth in foster in care by youth in foster care.

The Spirit Award scholarship will assist Christina to pay for her college expenses and to fund a future opportunity to study abroad. She aspires to become a registered pediatric nurse and to travel the world offering free medical care to those in need.