Student loans seem to be commonplace these days. Tuition costs are rising and most jobs require a college degree to even be considered. Many families struggle with funding a college education, but minority students may have a more difficult time due to language barriers and other factors. Today’s profile is about someone trying to make a difference.
Cristina Oxtra is an Asian American who immigrated to the United States with her family when she was in high school. She didn’t receive guidance from her school counselors or others who were supposed to teach and assist her in applying and obtaining financial help for college. She attended community college for two years before transferring to a four-year university. She lived at home and commuted to college in addition to working to pay her tuition.
Years later, Cristina now works for a school district in Shakopee, Minnesota and is involved with the local Leaders in Education And Diversity (LEAD) student group. Through her work, she has seen a need in helping local minority students who wish to pursue a post-secondary education connect with financial assistance. Cristina was inspired to create the Kaleidoscope Scholarship for students graduating from Shakopee High School.
She named it Kaleidoscope because the world is made up of people of all colors, races, cultures, languages, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. Together these people all make an ever changing, beautiful image, like a kaleidoscope. This scholarship is the first to be specifically offered for minority students in the Shakopee community. In 2011, the scholarship was divided to help three deserving students.
To fund the scholarship, Cristina has held bake sales and solicited donations from local businesses. In addition, Cristina has published a children’s book named “Mookie’s Teeth” that will also help fund the scholarship. Mookie’s Teeth is a children’s story about a little monster with a big problem – he doesn’t have his monster teeth. He must do good deeds to earn his teeth.
How can you help?
- You can purchase Mookie’s Teeth or any of the upcoming books from Christina’s Fairytale Hallow line. “Teddy’s Travels” Will be available in fall 2012 and other upcoming titles include “A Knight’s Tail” and “Ace Fairy”.
- You can also contact Cristina directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to offer assistance with fundraising work that she currently does on her own or to make a donation.