She is petite, looking much younger than her seventeen years, but she has more responsibly thrust upon her than your average teenager. Cristobalina comes from a very poor family and is of Haitian decent. Children of Haitian immigrants are not usually considered citizens of the Dominican Republic and are not allowed to attend public schools. Since Cristobalina’s parents struggle to find a way feed everyone in the family, she never dreamed it would be possible to go to school. It seemed like Cristobalina would have a similar future as her parents, but she was hungry to learn and hoped that there would be some way for her to go to school.

God did find a way to teach Cristobalina! COCREF gave Cristobalina a scholarship, which allowed her to receive her full elementary and secondary education at Los Guandules, a school right in her own community. The little girl with long braided extensions proved to be a bright student. She excelled in her classes and regularly received top marks. In her last year at Los Guandules she was president of the student government, showing her potential as a future leader in her community. Cristobalina caught the attention of university recruiters and she now is studying at university under a full scholarship.

While at Los Guandules, Cristobalina heard the story of the Gospel for the first time. She now looks back and sees how God has been working in her life, bringing her to Los Guandules and allowing her to receive an education. She now sees her future as an opportunity to work for Him. Cristobalina has shared the Gospel with her family and she knows that once she graduates she can support them financially as she will likely secure a good, well-paying job. Cristobalina may be small, but she is intelligent and sees how her life fits into the big picture. She will likely be a strong leader in her community as she lives to follow God’s will.

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