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What is your role at Carolina?

I am a second-year graduate student in the School Psychology program. I am a Graduate Research Assistant at the Carolina Latinx Center and the School of Education and mainly my role is to develop stronger collaborations between both departments. For my graduate research work, I am hoping to find ways that we, as mental health professionals, can help Latinx parents foster healthy parent-child relationships to positively impact children’s educational and psychological well-being.

What does “Vivir Mi Vida” mean to you?

“Vivir Mi Vida” to me means that we get to be unapologetically ourselves regardless of the spaces we enter. These spaces could be our homes, our schools, our peer groups, and social spaces. To me, it means that I can have reggaeton in the background while I read academic journals, or I can speak Spanglish with my friends and family because that’s who I am. There is no reason for us to change ourselves and who we are as Latinxs to enter other people’s spaces.

How has being at Carolina impacted you?

Wow! I have been at Carolina for over 8 years now. I started in 2015 and graduated in 2019 with a Psychology and Sociology double major and a Latinx Studies minor. Then, I worked in a Psychology lab in the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences at Davie Hall for 2 years. Now, I am back for my doctoral degree and won’t be graduating until 2025. Carolina has been a part of my life for a long time now and will continue to be. This university has taught me that the possibilities are endless and that having a village with you is pivotal to your success. It has also taught me that having strong relationships with your professors and mentors is super important to have.

What is your hidden talent?

I like to sing! I rarely tell people that because I don’t like performing in front of others, but I love singing in the car and at home.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself that slowly but surely, I was on the path I was meant to be on. I was always so conflicted about whether I was in the right field, job, or program but it all is starting to piece itself beautifully. Now that I look back, I appreciate some of the positions I took when I was an undergrad because they taught me valuable lessons or skills that I now have and can use in my work.