Imprint Author

Kristel Cosio

Kristel Cosio was born in Baguio, Philippines in the mid 90's to a Mexican-American father and an indigenous Filipina mother. Cosio came to the US as a toddler and was raised in the East Bay of Northern California. Due to her father suffering from a rare disease that caused him to go blind and her mother’s incarceration, Cosio was passed from different families until she decided to live in her car and graduated high school. Cosio is now majoring in microbial biology at UC Berkeley, after transferring from Berkeley City College. She currently does research at the UC Berkeley Optometry School, studying the disease her father suffered from. She is a harm reduction coordinator that educates co-ops, dorms, sororities, and frats how to use drugs and have sex safely at UC Berkeley. On the weekends, Cosio leads homeless encampment outreach through Suitcase Clinic, a UC Berkeley and UCSF initiative to provide all members of the community with basic needs and medical care. Her goals as a former foster youth and future doctor are to break down barriers that kept her from healing earlier in her life. She intends to use her experiences and education to change policy in the local and state government to bring more access, resources, and respect to system-impacted communities.