Breathing a sigh of relief as the college acceptances start to roll in, Alanna Marie Perez is letting go of a lot of stress and optimistically look forward to the next chapter. One of the top students in her class, Alanna acknowledges that Covid made a stressful situation tougher.
With a plan to become an anesthesiologist, she focused on schools with strong research labs and biology programs. Gaining acceptances from Georgetown, Princeton, NYU and Northeastern, Alanna is currently working with the college counseling office to determine her best financial aid package before making a final decision.
Describing herself as a “strong minded woman who sets goals and goes for it,’ Alanna acknowledges that it’s been a journey to gain that confidence. Coming to the United States as a 10-year-old from the Dominican Republic, Alanna has sometimes struggled with the pressure of excelling in school, succeeding in her CWSP placement, working an outside job and volunteering, but credits the supportive staff at Cristo Rey Boston for helping her tap into her strengths and excel.
Alanna’s motto is to be “perfectly imperfect”, reflecting that “coming from a public school I was used to being at the top of the class, but CRB was harder, and I had to learn that I would make mistakes, but that I could grow from those mistakes.”
Given her strong interest in the medical field, Alanna is grateful for her CWSP experiences at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Beth Israel New England Deaconess Hospital. “My experience at CRB has turned me into a stronger student. I am equipped to handle any difficult situation that I am faced with. The staff at CRB have helped me prepare by offering me many opportunities to pursue my career interests whether it was placing me at a hospital or helping me sign up for an extracurricular program.”
Alanna keeps a full schedule as a member of the Varsity Volleyball team, and her ongoing volunteering at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. However, she always keeps time for her love of reading. As a freshman, she started a book club at Cristo Rey Boston. Focused on big themes that impact her surrounding community, they have tackled issues involving eviction, the judicial system, gentrification, and social injustice. Citing Just Mercy as the book that has been most influential, Alanna reflects that the book club has expanded her perspective on current events and raised her consciousness of the challenges facing the community of color. “Black Lives Matters Is Not a Trend, It’s Our Lives.” she noted. Acknowledging the challenges ahead have strengthened her resolve to persevere and reach her goals.