Nadia Salazar has been working with us since the beginning of the summer and has brought a whole new perspective on the immigrant experience thanks to her background in psychology and her own journey from Bolivia to the United States at a young age. We asked Nadia to describe the other important journey in her life- the one that brought her to where she is as a young, empowered woman. Here’s what she said:
“A wise man once told me, ‘we all have our own portals in life,’ that was my father. I took me a very long time to realize which portal was mine, which one was my calling. I started off by trying to become a lawyer, however, as I began to take more courses and get acquainted with people who are part of this circle I realized that it was not for me. As I had to choose classes to fulfill my electives at school, I decided to take Psychology 102 along with Ceramics. When the classes began I found myself genuinely interested in both subjects. Along with going to school, I had some family issues at home, and as a result I found myself depressed, sadden by the fact that I could not do a thing to help the situation. I finally found peace in drawing, I was in a place where nothing mattered just what I felt and whatever it was I could put it in a piece of paper and surpass the situation by facing it.
At this time, one of my classmates had been going through an ongoing treatment for depression and bipolar disorder; all the medication had completely changed her. Her situation brought me to an “epiphany,” I wanted to still change the world but at a different level, I wanted to help the less fortunate, those who are born with a “disadvantage” and with this to end the stigma of mentally disabled people. I heard of art therapy from the same close friend, it opened a new door for me. I became interested instantly because it combined the two things I love the most, Psychology and Art. And then it came to me, my calling, to share this with everyone who needs it. Art therapy by far had been the one thing I solely believe in, it is efficient and it is not expensive, it does not require you to take ridiculous dosages of synthetics which contain tremendous side effects. This changed my life, I transferred to UMBC in Spring 2012, since then I have been part of the Student Ambassador Program, Psychology Student Association, Student Event Board and I currently work as a student employee at the office of student services. My grades increased from a 2.5 to a 3.75, making it to the Dean’s List for the first time in years. I now know that this is why I am here, in this world, to devote myself to helping those in need.”
Are you interested in art therapy as well? Learn more here!