The On-going struggle of Salina Villegas

July 11, 2007
Braulio Ramirez

A faint veil has always sequestered her. Doubtless, the pain of the past still resonates through her thoughts. This is when a longing to thrive rushes through her blood.

Seventeen–year-old Salina Villegas entrusted all her life to one individual—Chris Yanov—and the non-profit organization he founded. “It was like a miracle,” she recalled, “I finally found inspiration.” The Reality Changers of downtown San Diego molded the aspiring high-school student. It surprisingly became the beginning of healthy relationships and admirable goals.

Since her birth-date, June 4, 1990, Salina has grudged her family. She constantly struggled to surpass Cecilia, her older sister, in order to please her parents.

Now, Chris Yanov has held her hand and together taken a leap of faith. He flooded her with optimism and inspiration. “I finally understood that quote: ‘Forget the risk and take the fall; if it’s what you want it’s worth it all,” she said.

Her relationships with her family began to drastically change. School grades were finally soaring, and Salina took exemplary individuals as friends.

Life has tricked Salina harshly. When her parents, Tomas and Tina, finally took the second paddle, they transferred her to the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical High School of San Diego (MET). The charter high school appeared to be the glorious miracle she and her family had waited all their lives. Here she finally overcame her stuttering problems that were so criminally condemned by past teachers and classmates. Salina began to shape her future.

While the school did aided in various ways, the Academic Connections participant did not consider her high school a life-changer. Salina will always reserve that special slot to Chris Yanov. This amazing person became a constant presence. Since that trip to downtown San Diego, the young-lady plans for herself. “With a 4.13 GPA, I believe I can achieve a Ph.D. in communication at UCSB,” Salina said. She has taken a challenger for an attitude and has started to prepare for her future. Presently, Salina joined the AC at UCSD again, this time as a journalist for the Triton Tribune.

However, the fact that she has revolutionized effectively does not mean she doesn’t experience adversities. Last summer, she overcame a frightening car-accident. Today, a lack of faith encumbers her the most. Although she comes from a long-line of devout Catholics, she is not so sure she wants to follow that path. Still, she strives for a belief that would better her.

Today, a mischievous woman still lingers inside. However, she never lets her guard down by always being on the lookout. Proving herself has always been a major factor for Salina Villegas. She always reminds herself she has a battle to win daily, and she won’t be victorious until she proves her potential. Victory is never a certainty, but if she continues her present path she will always be a winner. With her life escalating miraculously and a tenacious personality spurting inside her, Salina Villegas is someone to reckon with.

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