In celebration of Black History Month’s national theme, Black Health and Wellness, LRU invites you to learn more about our health and medical science students making a difference on campus.
Meet Liza Perdomo Alvarez, a junior majoring in psychology.
This year’s theme for Black History Month focuses on Black Health and Wellness. What activities, rituals and initiatives have you done to be well?
Resting and yoga are things that I’ve incorporated into my everyday life in order to promote wellness. As a woman of color, I often have been told that resting is a leisurely activity that produces no results. I have left that ideology behind, as I realized that working myself to the brink of collapse is not beneficial to me or my health.
Yoga was introduced to me as a “white” activity that I should not partake in, but I attended a class once last year, and I could not understand why it was viewed that way. It is an activity that promotes physical and mental health.
What makes you feel most celebrated and supported on this campus?
As a Black student, I feel celebrated being highly regarded by faculty and staff. Not in a context of superiority, but in the way that they actively express that I am capable and on the right track. I have felt extraordinarily supported when directly recommended for professional opportunities. This genuinely enabled me to regard myself as highly as others do, and it has helped me take myself seriously.
Using what you’ve learned in your major, how would you want to improve the world one day?
My entire college career has been a learning experience. I have learned countless things about myself. I believe that the level of self-awareness I’ve achieved will help me to help others see behaviors that do not favor them. I now have, and will continue to gain, knowledge that will allow me to fight against systemic barriers that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
What are the biggest challenges in your program?
Academically the biggest challenge in the psychology program has been intaking the ample amount of material. This has paid off, as I now know more than I ever imagined I could. I have a significant understanding of the many processes of the mind. Personally the biggest challenge in my program has been learning about things I was never taught, and unlearning the wrongful things I was taught.
Who has served as an inspiration in your life when it comes to your health and wellness?
My family has been my biggest inspiration when it comes to health and wellness. Growing up I realized that my family never really led the healthiest of lifestyles. I also genuinely would like to make it to 45 with full mobility of my joints and the ability to healthily cope with the turmoil of life.
What’s one thing you learned at La Roche that will stick with you for life?
Aside from all of the things I have learned through my major, La Roche has taught me that everyone you come across is a connection worth having. Even when it might seem pointless or unrelated to you, creating relationships that are mutually beneficial will help you build and increase your network.
In a sentence, what does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is about honoring and recognizing those who paved the way in order for us to have the opportunities that we have today.