Raisa Garcia Studies Asian-American Mental Health
While finishing her undergraduate degree at San Jose State University, Raisa Garcia, a recipient of the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund, wanted to understand the prevalence of loneliness among the Asian American student population.
She uncovered children struggling with identity issues about being both Asian and American. She also revealed a population of parents dealing with the trauma of leaving their home country, working low-wage jobs and having a language barrier. The chain reaction of sharing her research findings and piloting a program to help these families led her to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Alliant International University.
Her focus is multicultural issues that affect Asian Americans but her research and volunteer work have taken her into a variety of disciplines. She has studied topics as diverse as bullying, physical and sexual abuse and body image issues among women. She has also done work in the public health sector–writing policy briefs on tobacco cessation, diabetes and the Affordable Care Act.
While most classmates in her graduate school program are more specific with their studies, Garcia prefers being a generalist and believes that merging psychology with other health disciplines can help us navigate complex problems.
“My approach can sometimes be frustrating because there’s no set career path,” Garcia says, “But I believe the field can use people willing to be open to a lot of experiences.”
There is no doubt that Garcia will continue researching many different issues in an effort to help other people, and the Go Red™ Multicultural Scholarship Fund, sponsored by Macy’s, will assist her on this journey.