Kathleen Perez ’21 is a sociology major and was awarded the Laurel Circle Award in May. She’s also treasurer of Latinas Unidas, a Spirit Coordinator for the Student Activities Council, and an Orientation Leader.
You’ve taken on quite a few leadership roles in your first few years of college. How has the Mount helped you be successful?
The Mount is filled with people who believe in you. I met my mentor, Brittney Plascencia-Saldana from the Women's Leadership & Student Involvement Office my freshman year when I served as the vice president of the Student Activities Council (SAC). From the day she met me she believed in me and encouraged me to step into a leadership role. She’s still my mentor and I thank her for the person I am today.
What’s the favorite class you’ve taken?
When I took the class, “Sex, Family and Marriage,” I knew I wanted to be a marriage and family therapist. I have loved sociology since I first started at the Mount. Marriage and family therapy connects to my life. My life hasn’t been easy and I’ve had to overcome a lot of obstacles. My dad was deported when I was eight years old, and we moved homes many times. But this class gave me some tools to understand how therapy works, and we got to do practice it a little bit. I feel like I could help clients and understand people who’ve also had challenges in their lives.
What are you most proud of?
Getting the Laurel Circle Award this past year. The Laurel Award was presented to me because I accomplished many things during my time as vice president for the SAC. The award is given to two women out of the whole school — just two out of the whole school! I couldn’t believe it when my name was called!
This summer during New Student Orientation, what advice will you give to incoming students?
Follow your passion. Some incoming students feel like they must do what their parents want them to do. Do what you want to do. If you have to change your major, change it. Never give up. This is a place where you are known, where you can have a conversation with your professor and find a mentor. And your plate is always full, so buy a planner so you can remember when to eat!
What makes you unstoppable?
I am unstoppable because I am a person who defeats challenges and who doesn’t give up.