IUPUI is a unique place, framing service not as an addition to education, but rather, as a logical extension to learning. As an Honors College student, in particular, service has been integral to my experiences, placing life-long learning and service-learning alongside one another.
I have had the opportunity to pursue a Biology B.S. and Philanthropic Studies B.A. with a certificate in Latino Studies, offering me a humanities-grounded framework under which to understand health disparities. Through the generosity of mentors on my undergraduate journey, I have been afforded the privilege to translate my training in the humanities to advocacy work at IUPUI and Indianapolis, at-large, to create spaces to affirm mental wellness and protect the most vulnerable among us.
The narratives on mental health have been called into attention in recent years, especially focusing on the crisis among youth. As a part of an Honors Contract with Professor Dave Strong in Introduction to Sociology, I studied mental health in the South Asian context, recognizing that first and second-generation South Asian Americans faced disproportionate barriers to mental health. In fact, my presentation of this project, a year later as a speaker at the Culture of Mental Illness Panel, was critical in enabling me to disseminate knowledge on mental health to the wider campus community.
Thus motivated to create more forums dedicated to mental wellness, I helped launch Active Minds, a student organization dedicated to creating an affirming culture for mental health. Working in close collaboration with CAPS and Dr. James Marrs, I have designed workshop modules for the Spring 2020 semester dedicated to mindfulness and stress management. Without the Honors contract as a catalyst, I would not have had been inspired to recruit a highly passionate team to create Active Minds and give back to the IUPUI community a space to voice affirmations on mental wellness.