From being an advocate and identifying with the LGBTQ community, to stepping up and being a care provider, and now completing college as an adult, Kristi Maldonado has faced many aspects of adversity.
In 2017, Kristi Maldonado graduated from Grays Harbor College (GHC) with an Associate of Arts Direct Transfer Degree. Currently, they are on their path to earning their Bachelor’s in Integrated Strategic Communication with a Minor in Sociology.
Maldonado was recently awarded the GHC Transforming Lives Award, where they were recognized for their success despite obstacles along the way.
For the past decade, Maldonado has been using their drag persona (Ceasar Hart) to support their advocacy and activist work. They are working in efforts to bring acceptance and equality to the LGBTQ community.
“It takes 24/7 type of effort to try and help change occur in today’s society, and not just for the LGBTQ community. The way I am overcoming adversity is by actively doing what I can from every angle, especially through me furthering my education,” Maldonado said.
When asked why they chose the Washington State University online Integrated Strategic Communication (ISC) program, Maldonado said it permits them to be better at what they’ve been doing in their previous work in communications and nonprofit work.
“My ISC degree from WSU allows for me to have stronger developed skills that are strategically designed to help my success in my continued efforts,” said Maldonado.
One key take-away that Maldonado has taken away from the ISC program is the importance of language choice and that culture should be taken into consideration when dealing with communication.
Upon obtaining their degree, Maldonado wants to use their new acquired knowledge in the nonprofit industry to help bring change. In the future, they see themselves working to create and produce campaigns for a major non-profit organization that helps alter human behaviors and attitudes.
This coming May of 2020, Maldonado will graduate and continue their journey of creating change and advocating for the LGBTQ community.
Author: Emma Lorrigan (Dec 2019)