Cristal Salcido was born and raised in Indio, California. She graduated from La Quinta High School in 2011. During her years as LQHS, she was part of the Medical Health Academy; in her last year of the program, Cristal had the opportunity to intern with Dr. Milligan’s Dermatology, where she assisted in various procedures, including MOHS surgery. She was also a member of the Leo Club and was a junior volunteer at Eisenhower Medical Center- both of which allowed her to get more volunteer experience in the community and hospital setting. Cristal received the Medical Health Academy scholarship, LQ Rotary Scholarship, and College of the Desert Alumni Association / CVEP Pathways to Success Scholarship coming out of high school.
Cristal received her Associates in Biology from College of the Desert in the Spring of 2014. During her time at COD, Cristal began the COD Alumni Scholarship Club– a club dedicated to enhance the COD experience for receipts by hosting social events, college trips, and networking opportunities. She was also part of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program. Cristal was part of the Future Physician Leaders Program during the summer of 2011, 2012, and 2013. She also interned with OFCV for three years. Cristal was awarded a renewal scholarship from the COD Alumni Association for her last two years at COD.
Cristal received her Bachelors in Chicano Studies from University of California, Riverside in Spring of 2016. At UCR, Cristal was the Director of External Affairs for their Mini Medical School, Volunteer Coordinator for the HOSA Club, Spanish translator for the Riverside Free Clinic, and member of the Medical Scholars Program. She was also awarded a Health Career Connections internship summers 2014 and 2015, where she had the opportunity to work with the Desert Aids Project- Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign and the Regional Access Project Foundation where she created a blueprint for a mental health app for youth—many of which featured were adopted by SafeHouse of the Desert What’s Up App. For the two years she spent at UCR, she was awarded a 2-year scholarship from the UCR Foundation.
Upon returning to the, Coachella Valley, Cristal immediately began working. She spent three years at the Riverside County Latino Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services out in Coachella, as Program Coordinator for their Strengthening Families program- an evidence-based practice that uses a parent, youth, and multi-family group format to prevent teen problem behaviors and substance abuse, strengthen parenting skills, and build family strengths to the cities of Mecca, Thermal, Coachella, and Desert Hot Springs. Currently, Cristal is working with OFCV while also preparing for her medical school. Cristal will be attending Bastyr University starting Fall of 2019 where she will pursue a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree as well as a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. Ultimately, she wants to start her own practice in the desert where she will provide holistic primary care to her communities. Cristal is passionate to serve the underserved populations of the Coachella Valley, and hopes to inspire a positive change in the health and well-being of her community.