Monique Ortiz was born and grew up in Mexico City and felt a calling for the church at age 11. "But I veered off in different directions, never feeling worthy enough to follow this call," she says. Monique attended four universities in three countries, was a model, and did music videos before establishing a broadcasting career in radio and television. "But I knew, after nine years, that being a journalist wasn't what I truly wanted to do," she says. "I covered farm workers, for example, and came face to face with injustice, but then had to move on to the next story. It was very frustrating."
It was, therefore, "an incredible change in my life" for Monique to come to PSR, where she earned an MDiv degree in 2006. "PSR helped me became who I already was—but didn't know or feel secure about," she says. "Looking back on my experience at the seminary, I just adore PSR's tradition of boldness—how it is truly committed to walking with servants of God in the world for ministries of justice and compassion."
Monique is now co-pastor of Pescadero Community Church in northern California, where she works tirelessly to help the community's immigrant farm workers, as well as minister to the church's more affluent members. "I don't think I'm called to make a major change in the world—like a Martin Luther King Jr. or a Gandhi," she says. "But I do think that you can make a change one person at a time, one heart at a time, and that's what I'm trying to do."