Crystal Salinas is only 17 years old, but you would NEVER know that if you spent five minutes with her. She is incredibly driven – more so than pretty much anyone I’ve ever spoken with. Not only is she an activist on many levels and for many causes, she is also deeply involved in her community and in school. We touch on all the things that she is passionate about and what led her to become the activist and leader that she is.
The 2016 election is really what prompted her to take action – not just in her own community (my own community of Santa Clarita) – but all over the world. Last November, she applied to be a Women’s March Youth Empowerment Cohort and was one of the fourteen chosen – out of hundreds. She was flown to NYC to meet the others who were chosen and to collaborate with each other, not only on the cause that brought them together but also on other ways they could make a difference. That training enabled her to come up with her own mentorship program Girls Reflect, which is a nonprofit she runs here in Santa Clarita at MacGrath Elementary School for the fifth and sixth graders.
Growing up in a low-income community herself, this school and the teachers there made a huge impact on her and she very much wanted to do something to give back. Girls Reflect is a mentorship program that provides support for young girls of color BY older girls and women of color. High Schoolers mentor the younger girls and support them, while guest speakers are brought in to show the girls who they can be and the steps they need to take to do that. By bringing in women of color as guest speakers, the kids can see themselves in those leaders, which is something lacking in that community. Crystal has a go fund me that YOU can donate to as well to make sure this project gets all the funding it needs.
Because she is the daughter of an immigrant, she is extremely passionate about the immigration movement and being an advocate for her community. She understands at a deep level the sacrifices her mother makes on a daily basis as a factory worker and doesn’t take anything for granted. This is a big part of why she is so driven.
People are naturally drawn to her – she is truly a natural leader; I can see her becoming President easily ! I’d vote for her! I have spoken to many MANY young people over the years, but this girl blew me away! You are going to love her!