Transformative Principal
Discover the secrets of school leadership in this weekly interview podcast with top leaders in education.

Cristina Garza is the director of social impact for the Mission Economic Development Corporation. She curates and leads all STEAM and entrepreneurship initiatives for this EDC, and through this work commits herself improving the financial mobility of area residents, and fostering progressive and equitable economic development practices. Among the programs she founded are Web of Women, an initiative to teach technical skills to women professionals, and Career Readiness and Empowerment of Women (CREW), a multidisciplinary internship that trains young high-school women to serve as leaders in STEM and entrepreneurship. She is  2017 Next City Vanguard and named by CityLab Latino one of the Top 20 Young Civic Leaders of 2017. Before her career in economic development, Cristina worked in several museums in New York City including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin of Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Museum. 

  • CREW is a year-long internship and career preparation program for women and non-binary individuals.
  • Getting mentored by women in industries that don’t exist in this town.
  • I wanted to create a program that I would have benefited from when I was 17
  • They are the first in their families to go to college.
  • Only Latina in the classroom or the workspace.
  • Integration of entrepreneurship and leadership.
  • Thinking about the statistics of women in Tech.
  • Why are we keeping women of color out of these leadership positions?
  • Instead of just putting kids in coding camps, we need to
  • Looking at problems that are affecting their communities, then create products or policies that fix that problem.
  • Jobs are not just for software engineers.
  • Not waiting for someone to tap them on the shoulder and say they are chosen.
  • You create change by doing it.
  • The coding doesn’t happen until the end of the internship so that they have a purpose for the coding.
  • Kids learn way more way faster when they have a problem they are trying to solve.
  • We’re not spending enough time simply talking to youth and seeing how they can solve problems in their communities.
  • You’ve got to create partnerships with the school and community partners.