Christine grew up in the Bronx and came to Utica for college. Always wanting to pursue something in the area of law, she received a degree in criminal justice from Mohawk Valley Community College and studied sociology with a minor in crime at SUNY IT (now SUNY Polytechnic Institute). Being Hispanic, she was also driven to represent her heritage and also to fight for the under represented.
She is now an Oneida County Probation Officer. She started her career working with kids in that position, and now focuses on adults.
Christine started mentoring through ICAN’s IPA Network well over a decade ago with Oneida Youth Inc. under David Organisciak.
She welcomes the “hard” cases and has a tremendous success rate with her clients. She deals with the kids on their level and goes in acknowledging that each one is different and comes from a unique background and experience. She may spend a half an hour to a whole day with mentees, and anywhere from three months to many years. She is the self-proclaimed “Queen of Free” and finds an amazing array of activities and experiences to do with those she works with. Those free outings can spur new interests, and be things the youth may do again with their families on their own time, strengthening bonds and spending quality time together.
Christine’s grandmother taught her that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. She believes you can truly make a difference in a person’s life.
The stand out mentoring moments to her are the ones working with youth who start off with her with distrust and even combativeness. After showing support, consistency and care to them, they open up and feel like they are part of your family. She always tells the youth she works with that even after their official time together comes to an end, they can always pick up the phone and call her. And they do. She has a no-nonsense approach to life and her work that proves to be magnetic to so many.
In addition to mentoring, Christine has also worked with ICAN in other capacities, including teaching a cooking group and life skills classes, and is on call for our After Hours Crisis Line to assist with behavior management challenges via phone or in person. She enjoys working with ICAN because they value their employees as well as their contracted employees and the culture truly revolves around family, in ALL aspects.
Christine has two children – a 32-year old daughter who lives in Watertown with her family and a 35-year old son who lives in Japan with his family and her two granddaughters. She loves to cook, is very spiritual and she loves to play pool. Fun fact: she was crowned best female pool player in the area in 1995!