First Place Winner


Crystal is working as a dental assistant and has been for the last 6 yrs. She is going to DVC and working toward an associate of science degree in the dental hygiene program.

She has not had an easy life as her parents divorced due to domestic abuse when she was 7. Her mother fell into depression and, after trying to kill herself several times, spent quite a bit of time in mental institutions. Then, when Crystal was 10, she was molested by a man from her church. She left home at 17 because she no longer felt comfortable living with her stepfather, who looked at her inappropriately. She married at 19 and had her beautiful daughter (now 8). But, her husband turned out to be a drug addict, alcoholic, abusive AND unfaithful. She moved to CA 3 yrs ago in the hope of starting a better life for herself and her daughter.


Second Place Winner


Elena is currently at DVC, majoring in Administration of Justice and intends to transfer to another college in the fall 2015 to earn a BS in Criminal Justice.

Elena is first generation Mexican born in the US and was raised by her mom on a very limited income. Elena had a very difficult childhood. She witnessed domestic violence between her father and mother and had to escape to a shelter when her mother left that relationship. All of this had a negative impact on Elena's emotional well being and she succumbed to drugs and was incarcerated at 18. When she was 19 she gave birth to her daughter and this life changing experience inspired her to complete high school and enroll in college. She had to end her relationship with her daughter's father due to domestic violence.

Third Place Winner 


Kristina is enrolled at DVC and would like to eventually get a degree in Sociology.

Kristina has 2 boys, 8 and 9 years old. Last year, their father was murdered during a home invasion. He had been the sole financial provider for the family. Kristina has had to return to work and is now looking to continue her education so she can provide for her family. She is interested in becoming a social worker so she can help women recover from violent relationships.