Cristina Cortez is a first-generation Latin-American poet born to immigrant parents. She holds a B.A. in English, Creative Writing & Literature, and History with Minors in Latin American & Caribbean Studies with Honors & Distinction from Hofstra University (2015), and a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics, from the University of Washington Bothell (2018). Her thesis, Un-bound is a cross-genre memoir about living life with a disability. She was a speaker at TEDx Everett (March 2017).
Her work has been published in I Come From the World Literary Journal (Summer 2017) and La Guagua Poetry Anthology: Celebration & Confrontation (March 2019), the United Spinal Association’s New Mobility Magazine: the magazine for active wheelchair users. Cortez was a guest speaker at Breed Middle School’s Spanish National Junior Honor Society Chapter "Rigoberta Menchu" Peace Nobel Prize, and interviewed on Radio Shows Cambiando el mundo de personas con discapacidades with Raquel Quezada (April 2019), Fortaleciendo la Familia with Rafael Disla and Conceptos TV Univision, Boston with Efrain Abreu (June 2019).
She completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) fellowship program (2019-2020) at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at Boston Children's Hospital, where she studied neurodevelopmental disabilities as a self-advocate or person with a disability fellow (PWD, also called persons with lived experience or self-advocates). The program provides "advanced interdisciplinary training to health and counseling professionals, families, and self-advocates to improve their knowledge in working with children, adolescents and young adults with developmental and related disabilities. This training is multi-focused and ranges from policy issues and team collaboration to specific clinical practice and support models."
Cortez also participated in the Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador Series fellowship program, at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Institute for Human Development, in affiliation with Mass Families for Change via Zoom (2021)