Lucena Improves One Person’s Health at a Time
Mariana Lucena, recipient of the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund, strives to improve the health and spirit of those she meets, one person at a time.
“Small or big, we all have a role to play,” she says. “My approach is targeting not the group, but the individual, the single one carrying an unbearable load.”
Lucena herself has overcome several “loads”, as she calls them. These include moving to the United States from Colombia at age nine and knowing very little English and fighting personal health issues as she grew up. She is now thriving as a pharmacy student at the University of North Carolina.
An active student pharmacist, Lucena has promoted influenza clinics and blood glucose clinics to educate people about the importance of getting scheduled vaccinations and maintaining healthy blood sugar. She considers her role as an educator in the Spanish-speaking population especially important, and reserves time to volunteer among elderly populations. She credits her years of experience visiting her grandmother in an assisted living facility with her focus on older populations today.
“The need to belong, to feel appreciated and valued is inherent to human beings,” she says. “The elderly are a vulnerable and usually forgotten component of our society.”
Among the people she serves, Lucena will certainly not be forgotten any time soon.