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CAAMpus Celebrity: Valerie Ann Galarza, UPRM’s 102 Graduating Class President

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPRM chapter.

Few times in life you cross paths with such a beautiful soul. She irradiates a special vibe that makes you click with her instantly. The way she expresses herself shows you how much she cares about those around her. Her heart is that of a true leader; filled with hope that her work will motivate others to do better. It is a great honor to introduce this week’s CAAMpus Celebrity, the President of the upcoming 102 Colegio graduating class, Valerie Ann. 

Name: Valerie Ann Galarza Olivencia

Age: 23

Year of Study: Senior

Major: Plastic Arts & Art’s Theory 

Hometown: San Germán, P.R. 

HC: What does being class president mean to you?

Valerie: I come from a long lineage of Colegiales, so to say the least this is kind of THE dream. For the last three years I have been working on the planning of the graduation (as part of the Student’s Council), therefore I didn’t think  twice when the opportunity came.

HC: What will make you different from other presidents the RUM class have had before?

Valerie: I have previous experience in leadership, from the Student Coucil to preceding the Art’s Student Association last year. But what truly satisfies me, is to be able to make people feel good, to help them in whatever way I can. To know that those around me feel happy, and motivated, that is what I aim for as a leader. I want everybody to feel part of this, of the whole graduation process, because it is a once in a life time experience, and it will probably be the most important moment of our lives! It is not about me, it is about what I can do to help everybody else be satisfied and happy with their graduation. 

“El puesto y el título que tienes no valen mucho. Lo que vale es como sirves a los demás con el puesto y el título que tienes.” 

HC: What motivated you to study art?

Valerie: Since I was a child I have always expressed myself as an artist. At high school I thought I would be an engineer, but when the time came I didn’t get into the engineering program. So, I opted for arts, and truly, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I am not sure how my life would be now if I would have taken the science path. I truly believe that art can change the world, I have been experiencing that during the past years.

HC:  What kind of art do you focus on?

Valerie: I use art as a means of expression. Different subjects from recycling and environmental protection to the feminism, to the role of technology in our generation, anything that makes people think and reflect on the important aspects of our society. Also I have a blog where I criticize art. http://arte4312spring2015.wix.com/art-bits-rum

HC: What has been your biggest obstacle in achieving your goals?

Valerie: Sometimes, the lack of confidence in what I can do, the fear of el que dirán”, but I have tried to overcome that because the fear of what people will say is something that can stop you from achieving. I work on that aspect every day, trying to move forward regardless what people may think.

When we talked about the role her family has played on her success, we got emotional. Her mom has been an unconditional support, …she has never said no to me, she has always encouraged me to do everything I want, without pointing out any limitations, even when everybody else did, even when the doctors did. To have someone rooting for you unconditionally gives you strength to face with courage anything that may stand in your way of success.” 

HC: How do you spend your free time?

Valerie: I love to be around people, all the time, so whenever I have the time to help others there is where I want to be.

Former Chief Editor and Campus Correspondent at the Her Campus UPRM chapter of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Writing in NYC, living the dream.