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Stories of Leadership: Kristen Paruginong

Kristen Paruginong, '13, created a charity that supports victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault.

Kristen Paruginong, '13, graduated with a degree in media studies. After Paruginong became a victim of domestic violence, her experiences empowered her to start a charity called “Breaking the Silence Against Domestic Violence,” dedicated to shedding light on domestic violence through education, leadership and discussion.

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Kristen Paruginong

Tell us the highlights of your professional career.  What are your proudest achievements?

Break the Silence against Domestic Violence stemmed from my personal experience with domestic violence. I created a Facebook page in December 2011, and because of its rapid growth, I built a non-profit organization which now serves victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Being able to save lives and inspire others because of my story is by far the highlight of the work I do!

What’s your favorite college memory?

My favorite memory as a college student was being recognized by different student organizations and media outlets on campus because of the work I did while attending college. I was affected by domestic violence during my college years and being recognized for the great work by faculty and staff was pretty amazing and special!

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Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

I appreciated all of my teachers, especially the ones who were fascinated by the work I do with my non-profit organization. Professor Eadie, Professor Cirino and Professor Kruming were a few amazing people who allowed me to tie in my organization coursework.  

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Get involved and make your mark! You are only in college once, so make it a memorable experience. I wanted students and staff to remember me beyond the years I spent as a student.

What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

I’m not reading anything at the moment. My favorite book is called "Toronado Warning" by Elin Waldal. I highly recommend buying this book!

What quality do you value most in friends and colleagues?

Reliability and support are qualities I value the most. Its very important to me to have great and positive people around me who support what I do. In turn, I support them! Friends are about building each other up as a team.

What is your passion?

My passion is definitely serving others, especially through my organization.

What is your motto?

Team Break the Silence all day, every day!

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

Change the world!

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