Board of Directors
Crystal Gitonga stands as one of the two Umoja Student Board Members, proudly representing Southern California. Hailing from Kenya, she spent her first 15 years immersed in the vibrant culture of her home country. Upon relocating to the United States, Crystal commenced her college journey at Norco Community College, where her passion for Psychology began to blossom.
During her time at Norco College, Crystal showcased her leadership acumen by taking on pivotal roles in various student organizations, including Umoja and the Associated Students of Norco College. Her commitment was evident as she served as the Umoja President, Inter-Club Council representative, and Campus Representative for Student Activities.
Crystal's academic journey at Norco College culminated in an impressive achievement – earning five Associates Degrees. Currently in her senior year at the University of California, Riverside, she continues her pursuit of knowledge, working towards a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Crystal envisions advancing to a Master’s Degree in Counseling, driven by a profound desire to contribute to higher education, particularly by supporting underrepresented students in achieving their aspirations.
Her African roots and diverse experiences in the United States significantly influence Crystal's interests. Being an integral part of the Umoja Organization allows her to perpetuate her learning journey and explore innovative ways of bridging the gap between Africa and the diaspora through African Centered Education and Practices.
Looking forward, Crystal aspires to attain a PhD in African Studies, a crucial step in furthering her career. Her goal is to bring the rich teachings of the African Diaspora closer to students, fostering cultural understanding and appreciation.
On a lighter note, Crystal is not only multilingual, proficient in English, Kiswahili, and Kimeru (an East African language from the Meru tribe), but she also finds joy in exploring diverse cultures through music, dance, language, and culinary experiences. Crystal Gitonga is not just a Student Board Member; she is a dynamic force, shaping the future of education and cultural exchange.