My name is Monica Crespo; I was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico until the age of ten
when I was brought to Colorado along with my two brothers and my parents. I graduated from Niwot High School in June 2009.
I am pursuing a career in the Chicano Studies field and I am anticipating graduating from Metropolitan State College of Denver in the fall of 2013. I am one of the Chicana/o Studies work study students at Metro State involved in the Journey Through Our Heritage program. I am very pleased to say that the program has allowed me the opportunity to work with students of a local high school and several nonprofit organizations, such as Only One Inc. and Sisters of Color United for Education.
Only One Inc. is a nonprofit organization that focuses on addressing health disparity issues impacting indigenous communities related to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. While working with David Young, the founder of this nonprofit organization, I got the opportunity to participate in sacred ceremonies such as sweat lodges and the Mayan New Year ceremony. I also feel that my understanding in the curanderismo field has greatly impacted my life in a positive way. Working at Sisters of Color was also a wonderful experience because I was able to witness the great impact that this organization makes in the community and in the lives of many women of color like myself. Sisters of Color has been providing the community with a safe and supportive environment for almost twenty years.
Although community service is a big part of the JTOH program, the partnership with the local high schools is vital to keep the program running. Like all the work studies from JTOH, I have been partnered with a High School; La Academia Inner City Parish, an alternative high school. I am on my second year with La Academia, and I have to say that it has and still is an amazing experience working with kids who have had a rough past are now trying to better themselves and their education.