Crystal Molina: Against All Odds

Teaching is a high calling, and for Crystal Molina it was a dream that she had nurtured since she was a child.

Crystal Molina

Crystal Molina

“I wanted to be a teacher because I knew that I would be able to reach our youth and uplift them to a place where they see the power and honor each and everyone one of them have.”

The opportunity came with NITEP, who would help Crystal make her dream come true. They would also help her through difficult decisions, and support her in her decisions once they were to be implemented.

“NITEP has been very supportive of me throughout my years at UBC. They were open to having my children in class when it was necessary, they understood my absences when my children were quite ill and most of all they believed in me, even when I did not. When I was first accepted into NITEP I was going to ask them to wait a year, so that I may have my first child and study afterwards, but Marny, the first year coordinator, believed that I could do both, no doubt it would be hard but it was possible. Other “NTIEP’ers” had and were doing it, and so could I. It is through the support of NITEP, and family and friends that I was able to reach my goal of becoming a teacher.”

Reaching one’s goal never comes without difficulties, and Crystal now a young mother, had to deal with another tragedy that would threaten to destroy her chances of becoming a teacher.

Crystal’s husband was deported to El Salvador; it would be four long years before the customs would allow him to return to see his family in Vancouver.

“It has taken me five years and a semester. My advice for anyone who is wanting to follow this path is to be patient. Enjoy your classes and take in everything they have to offer you. It shouldn’t be a matter of how long it takes you to finish but rather how much knowledge you have once you reach the finish line. “

She is deserving of role model status herself, but when asked who her role models have been she replied there were many role models. There hasn’t been one role model but rather a bunch. NITEP and the First Nations Studies Program, renamed First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program (FNIS), has been the source of my role models from the professors to the students, each and everyone of them have inspired me.”