Divine appointment changes mother’s life

Activist helps fight addiction on campus


Janice Spraggins / The Advocate

Kristine Kilian Lobos (right) shakes hands and greets a new friend on campus on Oct. 4.

By Janice Spraggins, Advocate Staff

The first time Kristin Kilian Lobos stepped foot on the small San Pablo community college campus was when her daughter was a guest speaker for a drug and alcohol prevention assembly at Middle College High School at Contra Costa College.

That divine appointment opened the door to Lobos’ decision to enroll at CCC and to discover a program that would help her on her journey toward helping others in need.

Now, as president of the Health and Human Services Club, Lobos remembers not knowing if it was in her future to attend college.

In the search for answers to help her 16-year-old daughter struggling with drug addiction, enrolling in college put her on a journey to find ways to help motivate others through her daughter’s success.

Through a catastrophic journey, and much trepidation, Lobos knew that she desperately wanted to help her daughter and other teens in crisis and to understand the root cause of addiction.

“Since I’ve gotten older and found my voice, I want to make the most of this lifetime. I feel like I spent too much time hiding out,” Lobos said. “ Being courageous through so many challenges, including breast cancer, has made me more empathetic and more passionate about helping others.”

Lobos was introduced to health and human services Chairperson Aminta Mickles and psychology professor Mary Johnson, along with other caring individuals who helped her in choosing her major — health and human services.

Shortly after deciding her major, the floodgates of opportunity opened for Lobos.

Through community service, she found her voice as an activist for justice and equality.

Since beginning her work, Lobos received the Bernard Osher General Scholarship from the Contra Costa College Foundation along with the Health, and Human Services Department Scholarship.

Since then, she has received the Mary Vivian Gardner Due Diligence Scholarship and as a cancer survivor, she was awarded a scholarship from Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS).

Professor Johnson said, “I taught Lobos in the Introduction to Social Psychology and Psychological Rehabilitation and Recovery (classes) that deal with life stressors,”

“Kristen (Lobos) was experiencing a significant crisis that she shared with me,” Johnson said.

“If she not shared with me, I would not have known because she (Lobos) continued to work and got her assignments in on time. She was an excellent student while going through her crises — Kristen (Lobos) is very determined.”

What Johnson said she admires about Lobos is that she is very giving, resilient and willing to help anybody in need.

Lobos decided to become an activist because of inequities in the system. She believes there are not resources put into place to help youth that are trying to make sense of traumatic life situations.

As Lobos said, the system only exacerbates the core problem that adolescents express in unhealthy ways and programs need to be put in place to assist in healing the core root problem of young people crying out for help.

The whole point of Lobos’ journey is to help a teenager in crisis to have an opportunity for help and healing.

The health and human services major loves to volunteer her services in any community outreach program. She is an activist for youth and recovery programs, mental wellness and support for recovery.

She has also participated on panels discussing recovery and healing at San Quentin.

Lobos is the president of the Health and Human Services Club and is Mickles’ administrative aide.

After six years in sobriety, Lobos’ daughter is doing well.

She has completed a certificate in early childhood development at CCC and is excelling in her career.

Lobos’ daughter has a 3-year-old, and she also teaches art and music to young children.

Athena Diamond, who is a friend of Lobos and HHS Club member said, “Kristin (Lobos) visited our classroom to recruit officers for the club’s vacant positions. She exhibited strong leadership, excellent work ethic and showed the utmost respect for the club’s members.”

“I have been impressed with how Kristin manages to balance life between being a mother, daughter, friend, college student, club president, teacher’s aid, community activist and an entrepreneur with such poise.”