Campus Profile: Aya Diaz, Founder of LMU Wildflowers

 

Name: Aya Diaz

Major: Marketing, Studio Arts Minor

Year: Senior, Class of 2018 

What inspired you to create this event?

I personally believe that while college is of course a time of a lot of academic learning, it is also a time when you learn and grow a lot as an individual. That has definitely been the case for me, and self-love has been a major component of my growth during these four years at LMU. I've also had the privilege of seeing so many friends come into their own and walk in confidence over my time here. On the flip side, I know that through my involvement with various groups on campus and specifically with all-female groups, the topic of feeling not good enough or unworthy has come up a lot as something we all struggle with. I learned that this is not just an LMU phenomenon of course, and extends to many college women who studies have shown to leave college with less confidence than when they entered. From my faith and my relationship with God, I've received a lot of affirmation and guidance in terms of how to show love for myself and putting on this Wildflowers event came up in part of my prayer time on self-love. That's when I really felt called to put together a day for the women on this campus to engage in honest discussion about what it means to love yourself and all the ways that can look, and especially to come together and lift each other up.

Who are your role models?

My biggest role models are my mom and my grandmother, who have both inspired me by being more self-less than any other people I know, while at the same time, never compromising their strength and their care and value for themselves. I also adore two pastors at my church, Sarah Jakes Roberts and Stephanie Ike, for being dope women of God and inspiring others to pursue their purpose. Another role model is Elaine Welteroth, the most recent Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. I look up to her for her incredible work in the fashion industry, while giving voice to the marginalized, to activists, and to other women of color. I also think its a beautiful thing that she is so comfortable in sharing her faith. And finally, Maya Angelou for her heart and her inspiring words and demeanor.

This event is faith-based, how does faith relate to issues of confidence and empowerment?

I think that faith could relate to confidence and empowerment in any number of ways, depending on the person. But for me, my confidence is in God's faithfulness throughout my life. I know that ultimately, God has already made me worthy enough, so I don't have to try to be enough for anybody, I can just be myself. I also believe that when you pursue your God-given purpose, you can have faith that God will provide for you, which gives you room to feel empowered to dream bigger and to do more! 

Why do you think self confidence decreases during college?

I think that self confidence decreases during college because it is a time that you might feel you're being put to the test, whether that's academically, socially, financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally or in any other capacity. Simply put, it's difficult and there's a big shift of pressure on us as individuals. We often see places of difficulty as places where we've failed either ourselves or others. I also think that we are in such close to proximity to so many people for so much of the time that we naturally compare ourselves to one another. This definitely limits our self-confidence because we can't do anything how anyone else does it. But we can definitely do what we do, and be the best at it.  

What do you hope people get out of wildflowers?

I hope that for each woman, there is a word, a message, a song, or a moment that sticks with her and that continues to resound. I hope that Wildflowers allows every woman to just think about self-love, take inventory, and move forward in that direction while encouraging her friends, her organization, and her university to do the same. 

 

Check out LMU Wildflowers on Instagram, the wildflowers website, and the Facebook event!