Ivan Arias

What many of us don't realize is that mental health issues can follow us around without us even knowing and they can emerge at the worse times possible. For many of us, the stress of college is when that breaking point occurs. College can truly take a toll on us mentally and physically. I've have seen this happen to peers, friends and even myself. The issue is that many of the earlier symptoms of mental health issues, like change of sleep schedule, lack of motivation and isolation are viewed as common college tendencies. By bringing awareness to mental health and the importance of identifying, addressing and working on the hardships going through our minds, we can prevent the next generation of college students from dealing with the hardships of mental conditions and illnesses that are avoidable if the symptoms were recognized early on. College is a blessing and we all know how hard we need to fight to make it to that next step. However, college is arguably the most stressful time of our lives and it's a shame that not everyone is able to complete the journey because they weren't able to find the help they needed most. Together we can be the change to bring a conscious, educated, bright and stigma free future. Having the chance to be part of that change is an opportunity I was never going to let slide by.

Ivan grew up in the Dominican Republic, until he moved to the United States at age 12, where he attended Elmwood Park Memorial High School.

On his free time Ivan enjoys longboarding, swimming and working out. He’s a very sociable person, always down for any type of conversation. 

His music taste is very broad but his two favorite artists are Chance the Rapper and Bad Bunny. However his 2 favorite songs are "Angels" and "65th and Ingleside", both by Chance. He also loves DC and Marvel and would rather get lost learning about both comic labels than watching shows on TV.

His dream is to become a Biomedical engineer and develop a successful method for organ/tissue recreation and to set a path to allow underrepresented students find a way to college.