Ten Questions: Juvenile Hall substitute teacher loves job

Christina Fink was raised in the Midwest. She holds three degrees, has been married 29 years and has two children, two dogs and one horse. For the last 12 years, she has been involved with a nonprofit organization called Juvenile Court Book Club.

The organization raises money, buys book sets and holds book club discussions with incarcerated teens in the San Diego juvenile detention system. Fink substitute teaches there and loves every minute of it.

In her spare time, Fink likes to hike with her dogs, rides her horse, reads and cooks.

What brought you to Rancho Santa Fe?

As with many other families, my husband’s job relocated us to the San Diego area. We are both from the Midwest originally, and were delighted to find a community with a bit more open space.

What keeps you in the Ranch?

This is the house where we raised our children, and we would like to keep it for as long as possible so that they can come home to their roots.

What is the toughest part about your job?

I substitute teach at Juvenile Hall, and I would say that the toughest part is keeping the students focused in class. Some talk incessantly and some drift off and won’t talk at all. They either have loads of bottled up energy or (understandably) lots on their mind.

Who inspires you?

I would say that my mother (now deceased) is my biggest inspiration. She came from humble beginnings and worked to be cheerful everyday. She didn’t have it easy in many aspects of her life, but she had a strong set of values that guided her through a myriad of situations, and the most loving heart of anyone I have every known. She gave of herself without strings attached and was someone you could always count on.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

I would invite my (deceased) mother and seven of her relatives that I have not gotten to know during my lifetime. My grandparents on her side passed away before I was born and we did not spend time with her side of the family while I was growing up.

I went to a family reunion this past fall to meet my mother’s side of the family and I wished she and I could have done this while she was living. I wish I could have known others who are now gone.

What was the last thing you read?

“The Zookeeper’s Wife.” I read the One Book One San Diego selection every year

What are you listening to these days?

An up and coming local artist named Miz Mandy who people will be hearing more of soon.

If you could offer today’s youth one piece of advice, what would it be?

Stay in school and obtain the highest level of learning you can.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

My children would have to be the answer to that question. They are both in college and are both great people with good hearts, a strong set of values which guide them, and also a lot of fun to be with.

What is your motto?

I really do try, every day, to do unto others as I would like to be treated.