Christina Olague (BA ’04) grew up in California’s Central Valley in a working-class family. The daughter of farm workers, she eventually moved to the Bay Area, where she has been working on housing and social justice issues for many years. When Christina decided it was time to complete her BA degree, she chose CIIS’s BAC Program because of its nontraditional approach and the flexibility it allowed her to maintain her work and community organizing commitments. It was also important for her to find a place where there was room for personal experiences, including spiritual perspectives:
“You bring your whole person into the educational experience. You are not compartmentalized.”
Christina also found a well-rounded education. While the program was academically rigorous with many opportunities to further develop analytical thinking and writing skills, it also pushed students to explore multiple ways to engage with the curriculum, including artistic modes such as drama, music, and movement. Since graduating in 2004, Christina has continued to work in housing, particularly in the Mission and SOMA districts with seniors and families on issues of gentrification and displacement. For over seven years, she served on the San Francisco Planning Commission, and in 2012 she served on the Board of Supervisors. Christina is now back at CIIS as a graduate student in the Integral Counseling Psychology Program.