"I hope to be able to find a job where I can practice therapy with the Latinx community and at the same time advocate for farmworker and immigrant rights."
When Araceli Alvarez was growing up, her parents always emphasized the importance of education. Although they hadn’t been able to attend college themselves, they encouraged Araceli to push herself and pursue her dreams. Staying focused on school wasn’t always easy: Araceli’s parents were seasonal farmworkers, which meant the family often had to move in the middle of the school year. Still, Araceli persisted, and in 2020 she became the first member of her family to graduate from college.
Now having earned her Master’s in Social Work, Araceli plans to become a therapist and mental health advocate. She says, “After graduation, I hope to be able to find a job where I can practice therapy with the Latinx community and at the same time advocate for farmworker and immigrant rights.” She is passionate about providing culturally responsive healthcare and plans to draw on her background as a bilingual, bicultural practitioner. She also hopes her work will help reduce the stigma around mental health that exists in some parts of her community.
In addition to her studies, Araceli is committed to supporting other students who come from underrepresented backgrounds. As an undergraduate at Michigan State University, she worked as a success coach, helping first-generation students navigate the transition to college. She balanced this job with her classes, her volunteer activities, and her responsibilities for her daughter Isabella, who was born in 2019. Her mentor at the coaching program says, “Through it all, Araceli has demonstrated an unmatched resilience and a commitment to her education that shows it is a top priority, no matter what she is going through. She is not afraid to ask questions, utilize resources, and challenge herself to achieve her goals.”
CEW+ applauds Araceli’s resilience and names her a Beth Halloran Scholar.