Meet Our Scholars
Berkeley City College
Christina Quiñonez was born to a single mother who had migrated to Los Angeles from Guatemala to flee a civil war in her native country. At age 12, Christina began to embrace her true identity as a female, only to receive a lack of affirmation and support from her family. While navigating her teens as a minor without a stable home or family, she met Cris Beam who provided much needed moral support and continuously encouraged Christina to steer her personal narrative through education. To support herself financially, she took a part-time job with an HIV epidemiology program, which helped her understand how critical HIV prevention is for the transgender community as well as socioeconomically disadvantaged communities of color. Her passion for preventing HIV led to continued professional service within marginalized communities, such as Bienestar, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In 2007 Christina was nominated by her peers to be featured in the first Angel’s of Change calendar and fashion show, which raised funds, awareness, and support for transgender youth. She also joined the California Mental Health Service Act (Prop 63) Multicultural Coalition to help bring new perspectives to mental health systems. Christina is currently working at the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at UCSF while attending Berkeley City College majoring in Psychology. She eventually hopes to obtain a bachelor’s degree and work as trainer and program developer.