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Karla Arevalo-Alas – October 2012 Scholar of the Month

2012 CHCI Scholar

Hometown: Morrow, Georgia

Degree: B.S., Exercise Science

School: Georgia State Universityn

My name is Karla Arevalo-Alas and I am a student of Exercise Science at Georgia State University. I was born and raised in El Salvador until the age of eleven-years old, and since I came to the United States nine years ago I have been doing my best to adapt to a new culture and a new environment. I graduated high school ranking number three of my class, with a 4.1 GPA and I am currently maintaining a 4.1 GPA at Georgia State University and as result I currently have a position in the President’s List.

I am a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society at my school and I also have been involved in different volunteering and mentoring programs that allow me to give back to the Hispanic community. I was able to mentor high school students of Hispanic heritage that needed assistance in the process of applying for college.

In addition to this, I am currently in the process of becoming a “big sister” in the Big Sister/ Big Brother program at Georgia State University that aims to help Hispanic students in middle school who do not have the academic support of their parents because of language or time barriers. I am very excited about this opportunity because while I was in middle school I did not have anyone that was able to help me with my homework or school related activities. During those years I was still learning to understand and speak English, and my mother worked all day and did not speak English herself. My father did not come to the United States with us, therefore was not able to assist with my academic struggles either. Having the opportunity to assist these students, which need as much help as I once did, fills me with joy and pride.

My career goals consist in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in order to attend graduate school for Physical Therapy. This career field is very competitive, since there is only a limited amount of students accepted in this graduate program. Even though I am aware of the challenges and the amount of effort I will have to face in this field, I am confident that I will reach my goal with excellence. I consider myself a determined individual that is capable of overcoming adversities.

I always knew that I wanted to influence people’s life in a positive way and maybe even change someone’s life. I discovered how important physical therapist are in the rehabilitation process of athletes; people who have suffered accidents; people with chronic illnesses that affect their bodies; veterans and endless number of patients that in one way or another need to recover mobility. I realized that these doctors change people’s life everyday by helping them recuperate and go back to their daily routines. It was in that moment that I knew this was the right career for me.

I am honored to be a CHCI 2012 Scholar and I believe that thanks to the assistance and generosity of institutions like CHCI I will be able to greatly impact the Hispanic community and I will set an example not only of professional success among Hispanics, but also an example of the importance of giving back to the community.