By Talia Speaker '18
You may recognize Christine Cunanan as the cashier at Malott Dining Hall who looks like she could be a student. Well, in fact, she is one. At age 19, Cunanan came to Scripps seeking full-time employment to support her while she pursued higher education.
At age 13, Cunanan moved to California with her family from their home in the Philippines. She had a lot to adjust to after the move, including two stepsisters she didn’t know existed, in addition to her entirely new life.
“One of the hardest things for me was transportation,” said Cunanan, describing the adjustment. In her hometown in the Philippines, everyone got around on foot and on buses, which were reliable and came frequently. Without a car to use in L.A., she often had to wait hours between buses just to get to school or work.
Although the adjustment was difficult, Cunanan has worked hard to provide herself with opportunities to do the things she loves, including baking. Currently in her last semester at nearby Chaffey Community College, she is eager about the prospects for her future.
“I am transferring next semester to Cal State Lutheran to finish my degree,” she said, smiling. She shared that she is still debating whether or not she wants to live on campus after the transfer, but that seeing Scripps students soaking up campus life has made her curious about what it would be like.
“I like the idea of having to figure things out a little more by myself,” she said, comparing it to living at home. “I want to figure out what I want in my life, and how to do things by myself. That’s how I want to live.”
After almost four years of employment at Scripps, Cunanan has done a lot on her own already; and as a business management major, she plans to use her drive for independence to fuel her career.
“I want to open my own pastry shop,” she said. “It would be perfect because I want to run my own business and I love sweets.” One of her favorite activities is making and decorating cupcakes, because she gets to use her hands and her creativity.
“I like how it feels to actually make things,” Cunanan said. “Doing something new, even though it might be weird, is fun for me.”
At 22, Christine is around the same age of most Scripps students, and her favorite part of her job is interacting with us. So say hi when you see her while she’s still around, and keep an eye out for an award-winning bakery opening in the area!