Meet Ashley Alcantar:
MC: Tell us a little about yourself!
AA: “I’m a Senior, wrapping up my last semester here at Loyola. I come from Hispanic heritage so I’m super proud to be one more Hispanic to graduate and make my family proud of where we come from. In addition to that, I’m physically disabled, so it feels really good to prove society wrong and that my disability doesn’t stop me from achieving great things. I’m majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology.
MC: Where do you dream of seeing yourself in the next 5 years?
AA: “I dream that I’ll be able to afford living closer to the city. I dream that I will be at a job that makes my soul happy, has a meaningful purpose, and have the ability to help individuals improve their lives. I’m currently engaged, so I’m extremely excited to marry the love of my life and start traveling the word together!”
MC: What is one way you have seen yourself grow since coming to college?
AA: “I learned to stand up for what I believe in even if I’m the only one standing.”
MC: What are you most passionate about?
AA: “Understanding people. Many people in minority groups are misunderstood or underrepresented and I want to be a person to help shine light on them.”
MC: What’s your best Loyola memory? What will you miss most about being a college student at Loyola?
AA: “My best Loyola memory, I have to say was when the men’s basketball team was doing really well during March Madness last year. It was so fun to see all off us get hyped up and united as a university. This is kind of nerdy, but I think I will miss the most studying by the lake, whether it is in the IC or outside, it’s always so beautiful.”
MC: Looking back at your 4 years in college, what are you most proud of?
AA: “I’m most proud that I didn’t give up even though I thought I wouldn’t make it through so many times and through that I have learned my self-worth and discipline. I learned things are not going to be easy but they’re not impossible either. I’m also proud of the friendships that I’ve created– because of those friendships I was able to create some of the best years of my life.”
MC: What advice would you give yourself as a freshman?
AA: “Live in the moment and take each day as they come because the next four years are going to be crazy but the journey is totally worth it in the end.”
MC: Why did you choose to come to Loyola? Are you happy with your decision?
AA: “I choose to come to Loyola because of the hustle and bustle the city has to offer but also the calmness that the lake offers. I’m a person who likes to remain busy but once in a while I like take a day to relax and be with myself. I’m extremely happy with my decision!”
MC: Who inspires you?
AA: “This is going to be a weird answer, but the people who tell me I can’t inspire me. They give me that “itch” to put higher standards for myself and prove them wrong. They inspire me to do better than them. I love to combat society’s stigma about disabled individuals by doing things that most people think I can’t do and then seeing their faces in disbelief.”
MC: When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy the most?
My favorite thing to do is to explore the city with friends and take lots of pictures. I love taking picture of everything because I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words and that if you capture a moment, you will have it forever no matter where life takes you.”