Van Horn Schools will hold commencement exercises tomorrow, May 26, 2023 at the Karen D. Young Auditorium in Van Horn, Texas, honoring 22 students from the Van Horn High School Class of 2023.
The commencement address will be given by Crystal Urias Valdez. Urias Valdez was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1998. She spent most of her childhood in Van Horn in the care of her great-grandparents, Manuel and Manuela Urias. Crystal graduated from Van Horn High School in 2016. She was a recipient of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation Scholarship, which afforded her the ability to pursue a higher education.
In 2018, she graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with her Bachelor of Social Work. In 2020, she graduated with her Masters of Social Work, specializing in Mental Health and Substance Abuse. In 2022, she earned herself the title of Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which is the highest level of licensure possible in the state of Texas. In March of 2023, she turned 25 and became Owner and Founder of her business, Dose of Changes, LLC. This month she completed Eye Movement and Desensitization Training and solidified her role as a Trauma Specialist in the field.
She’s found a way to use her traumas and trials to spread awareness and advocate for changes in spaces that she enters. She’s contributed to founding mental health programming on a national level for her sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. She has been featured in VoyageDallas Magazine, CanvasRebel Magazine, and has been a guest on a panel for BoldJourney Podcast speaking on her life experiences and mental health.
She now lives in Arlington, Texas, with her partner and their dog, Oso. She fuels her soul by obsessing over Oso, sunsets, and recognizing how much love there is in her life now. Her hobbies include; trying to keep plants alive, reading books, writing, cooking, and working out.