True Life: Empowering Everyday Women of Tri-C

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By Tammy Merritt, West Campus Writer


Cristiana Vespucci – a twenty-one-year-old feminist and full time college student who also works forty hours outside of campus, has stepped into her role in leadership; which comes naturally for her. Compassionate and eager to make a difference as Student Government President; Vespucci gives her all at Tri-C West by being a voice for so many others. As Cristiana Vespucci shares her life’s story, she hopes to empower other women to continue to be trailblazers.

Since middle school, Cristiana has been very involved within her community in Independence, Ohio. For example, she met with the Mayor of Independence to approve the launch of a club called “Indy Kidz”, an anti-bullying group that brings children together. Cristiana did not stop there; she went even further by fundraising “Rachel’s Challenge”, which is still present in Independence schools today. “Rachel’s Challenge” was started by Rachel Scott, the first girl shot in the Columbine High School Massacre. The movement represents kindness and anti-bullying.

In high school, Cristiana took on the leadership role again in her Culinary class at CVCC. As President advocating for students, she held meetings and organized events as she does so well. Now attending Tri-C as a student majoring in marketing, one might ask the question, why that field? Cristiana replied, “Well, I really wanted to go into business. I love the food industry, I’m Italian, I love food…I love how food brings people together and food is really a big part of my life. I wanted to do something with that.”

Now in her senior year of college at Tri-C West, Cristiana once again answered her calling in leadership as both president of JSC (Joint Student Council) and Student Government. Advocating, organizing, volunteering and attending meetings to help the student body is all in a day’s work for Vespucci. Leading the food bank, attending meetings to make textbook and cafeteria cost more affordable – addressing cafeteria menu changes, and volunteering at the Cleveland Food bank are just some of the tasks Christiana has taken on as president at Tri-C.

Vespucci does not take all the credit though for what has been done thus far; she was quick to mention her staff of all women. Vice President Jenna Bartley, a high school student, is always there when she needs her, says Vespucci. “When I’m feeling overwhelmed Jenna steps in and gets the job done…she just tells me to breathe and takes over, which allows me to take care of the bigger things,” replied Cristiana. Another important woman is Secretary Kristen Septaric, a CCP student going into the Air Force soon. “Septaric is a passionate woman, who also gets the job done when needed. I admired her and can’t wait to see what else she’s going to accomplish next,” mentioned Cristiana. Kristen is trying to bring a program to Tri-C for students that allows them to have a smoother transition from Parma schools to any of the campuses. This is something I’m going to work on helping her with next.”

Her Treasurer, Kayla Ansel, is also student ambassador for the creative arts department. Kayla has maintained her role as treasurer for the last two years at the Western campus. Vespucci says, “Ansel really does go above and beyond her job. If you ask her to do something she’s on it like that…she just steps up.” Vespucci states, as she smiles and praises her team, “I couldn’t do my job without them, it is a team effort.”

Is it a coincidence that her staff is all women, as well as the student government staff at the other three campuses? Cristiana did not hesitate—she laughed and replied— “A coincidence, no I don’t think so; women are just taking on the role of leadership now.” As she prepares to graduate from Tri-C in the spring and transfer to CSU to major in Business Law, she plans to become president there as well. As she continues to soar at reaching her goals, Cristiana still is able to balance family, school, work and life itself. Helping her family in caring for her grandfather and soon becoming an Auntie, are among the many hats Cristiana Vespucci wears.

As the interview came to a close, Cristiana concluded with an empowering message directed towards women: “Have confidence in yourself, give 100%, set goals, stay focused on the bigger picture, find your balance, and not to underestimate yourself. If you’re in a position to help other women, do it. Women have come along way but there is still so much more left to do.”

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