About the Student Speaker

Christopher Sanjurjo Montalvo

Christopher Sanjurjo Montalvo

Christopher Sanjurjo Montalvo found his sense of belonging at UM-Flint. And he found a professional path to helping others.

“The University of Michigan-Flint has granted me so many chances to discover my place in the world,” Sanjurjo Montalvo said.

Sanjurjo Montalvo grew up in poverty in the Bronx. When his single mom lost her job, they lived in shelters for several months when he was very young.

“My mom always told me education was going to be my way out,” said Montalvo.

As he grew older, Sanjurjo Montalvo knew he wanted to find a way to tackle systemic social issues that leave some communities without proper resources. After serving in the U.S. Army, he found his answer at UM-Flint. Sanjurjo Montalvo chose the university for its strong social work program. His wife, Olivia Miller, is also a student at the university. The couple have three-year-old twin daughters, Allison and Serena. 

Last summer, he traveled to South Africa for study abroad. There, he learned about communities connecting through their shared humanity, such as community gatherings and public expression through the arts. He has been heavily involved with the Phi Alpha Honor Society, and has interned since last year with Mpowering My Success, a UM-Flint program that provides support to students previously in foster care.

Sanjurjo Montalvo hopes to leverage what he has learned at the university to help improve the Bronx as a politician. He is graduating with his bachelor’s degree in social work.

“Through the guidance, the diversity, and the strong community that is the University of Michigan-Flint, I have been able to grow,” said Sanjurjo Montalvo. “I have met diverse people from all backgrounds who share the same ideologies of social justice, passion for helping others, and personal development. UM-Flint inspired me to reach for more.”