Guam’s First Lady
FIRST LADY CHRISTINE M.S. CALVO married Governor Eddie Baza Calvo in 1987. When Governor Calvo speaks of the importance of family, he is inspired by his wife’s unbreakable commitment to their children’s growth and happiness. The First Lady has spent the past 23 years raising their six children and supporting her husband’s work to improve the quality of life for the people of Guam.
While meeting with her fellow Guamanians in village neighborhoods and working with Guam’s many non-profit organizations, First Lady Calvo came across her mission to give back to the people while holding a young infant in her arms – a young infant who was being cared for by a foster family.
From that moment, First Lady Calvo became Guam’s most vocal advocate for foster children, leading a growing movement to encourage the local community to reach out and help “Change a lifetime” for a child in need. First Lady Calvo believes every child should have the opportunity to be loved in a nurturing home, no matter what their circumstances in life may be.
In 2011, the First Lady created the Rigålu Foundation. “Rigålu,” in Chamorro, means “gift.” Since the Rigålu Foundation began their work to generate community support and raise awareness about Guam’s foster children, the number of licensed foster care families has increased with numerous inquiries from caring Guamanians who want to help. The Foundation’s annual uniform and shoe drives have raised thousands of dollars to help foster children get off to a great start for the new school year.
“Not everyone has the ability or the resources to open their homes to welcome a foster child in need,” First Lady Calvo believes. “But, we all have an opportunity to help our brothers and sisters in need in so many other ways.”
With foster children at the forefront of the Rigålu Foundation’s mission, the organization also has been working hard to improve early childhood education as lead proponents of the Governor’s Early Learning Council, as well as promoting the growth of a healthy and vibrant community through sports tourism and the arts and humanities.
Governor and Mrs. Calvo know that the heart of every community is family. Since coming into office, the Governor has committed his work to improving the quality of life for all Guamanians and the First Lady has been his strongest supporter in this endeavor.
Education is a pillar of the Calvo Administration. In support of this, the First Lady and the Rigålu Foundation play a major role in the Governor’s Early Childhood Learning Council. Through strengthening a community-wide network of early childhood educators and supporting major early childhood development conferences, First Lady Calvo is committed to seeing success across a broad spectrum of services that ensure Guam’s children get the best start for their educational goals.
Beyond her work in supporting Guam’s foster children and educational initiatives, Guam’s First Lady also takes an actives role in efforts to create a healthier, stronger community. She has been a vocal supporter for sports and sports tourism on Guam and can always be found cheering local athletes on in the stands or giving inspirational talks before the start of community sporting events. The First Lady also is a Rugby enthusiast, once playing for the Para Todu Rugby Club. She continues to coach girl’s high school Rugby for the Academy of Our Lady of Guam Cougars.
Today, the Rigålu Foundation is working with the Guam Table Tennis Federation to prepare Guam to host the 2012 International Table Tennis World Cadet Challenge. This is a huge undertaking as Guam will be the first community in Oceania to hold an event of this magnitude.
As a singer and supporter of the arts, First Lady Calvo also enjoys promoting culture and the humanities throughout Guam. In May, 2012, she and the Rigålu Foundation helped bring the Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco to Guam. Thanks to the Rigålu Foundation, the group was able to hold several workshops with local music organizations while holding a benefit gala for Guam’s foster children.
As the First Lady of Guam, Mrs. Calvo also serves as honorary chairperson of the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association, where she has been volunteering for years. She also is an honorary member of the Filipino Ladies Association of Guam.
She is heavily involved in her children’s educational upbringing, volunteering with the Parent-Teacher Organization at St. Francis Catholic School, as well as the Father Duenas Memorial School Booster Club. She is the immediate past chairperson for the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteer’s Annual Charity Ball and the St. Francis School Annual Charity Event.
In addition to her many activities and efforts to strengthen the community, Guam’s First Lady also is the owner and President of Todu Marketing LLC., a small business graphic and printing company.
Governor Calvo and the First Lady are the proud parents of six children, Edward, Vinson, Rosae, Paul, Jr., Melva and Celine. They are also the proud new grandparents of grandsons Eden and Sabian.
The First Lady was born on Guam, the second youngest of five children, to Mr. Gerry and Mrs. Melva Lujan Sonido. She is a 1984 graduate of Notre Dame High School.