Ana Mancia ’15
“[Crossroads] was an environment in which teachers truly care about you as a whole being.”
Ana Mancia ’15 came to Crossroads in sixth grade, and she wasn’t always a mover and a shaker. “When I started at Crossroads, my only goal was to ‘fit in,’” she says. “But by the time I graduated, I had fallen in love with entrepreneurship and knew that standing out would make me much more successful in life than fitting in.”
Ana led a very active life in the Upper School. She was captain of the varsity swimming team for two years, was heavily involved in the music department and helped lead the PRIDE Club. At the age of 16, she became a California-certified domestic violence counselor and started volunteering in women’s shelters in Los Angeles. During her freshman year at UC Berkeley, she launched the university’s first student-led domestic violence organization and created a dating violence education program in several Oakland high schools.
“Seeing the impact that domestic violence was having on her peers ... prompted her to found the ASUC Intimate Partner Violence Commission,” reads a recent UC Berkeley profile of Ana, who pays weekly visits to classrooms across the Bay Area to discuss domestic abuse. “Her hope is that early education will help break the cycle of violence.”
“A lot of resources on campus were grouped with sexual assault or sexual violence,” Ana says in the profile, “but intimate partner violence requires different types of resources than sexual assault. When you’re in a relationship with someone who is constantly hurting you, it’s not like a one-time sexual assault.”
Ana says her Crossroads experience allowed her to explore her creative side while receiving support from a close-knit community. “I am grateful to have found several artistic passions at Crossroads, to build strong relationships with many faculty members and to discover my perseverance,” she says. “It was an environment in which teachers truly care about you as a whole being, outside of the classroom.”
As she visits classrooms across the Bay Area to train students, she envisions one day managing her own nonprofit to further combat domestic violence. “My favorite part is that I can slowly break the cycle of domestic violence and help our next generation of youth prevent this issue that affects one in three women globally,” she says. “My mission in life is to end domestic violence as much as possible through education.”