Alyssa Perez: Living a life of service

Alyssa perez, ASLMU President, Jesuit volunteer corps

Outgoing Associated Students of Loyola Marymount University (ASLMU) President Alyssa Perez graduates in May, then journeys to Belize City, Belize, where she will teach English at an elementary school with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

A native of San Jose, Calif., Alyssa says that when originally searching for colleges, LMU's commitment to service won her over.

"LMU is a really special place because of its mission," Alyssa said. "It's not just something posted on the website, it's really in everything that the students do, in the classroom, in service and in their own spirituality."

Alyssa goes on to say that all LMU graduates have the unique opportunity of being able to bring social justice into their lives and careers, if they take the mission to heart and task.

For her part, Alyssa has been active in a number of LMU's service organizations, including "Belles," an all-female service organization founded in 1960. Additionally, she has worked with the Fund for American Studies, participated in the "Casa Program," a service study abroad program in Argentina, and completed an internship with the non-profit Youth Service America last summer in D.C.

But perhaps Alyssa's greatest accomplishment while a Lion was being elected as the president of ASLMU.

"Being ASLMU president was the best and hardest thing," Alyssa said. "And I'm very confident in passing the torch to incoming President David Tassone." Highlights of Alyssa's presidency include the creation of the LMU Leadership Council, a communication network that brings together leaders from across campus for thoughtful discussion - not to mention a handful of new social justice events, including the popular "Check Your Privilege" campaign.

One of her fondest presidential memories, however, is having the chance to help out with LMU's popular Fallapalooza. The event, otherwise known as Spring Fest, features a Coachella-like music experience in Sunken Garden.

"Everyone looks for that one moment where they are like, 'this is college,'" Alyssa said, "and for me, that was this year's Fallapalooza. Everyone was having fun and enjoying the music... it was just a really awesome celebration. I will always remember that day." Following her two-year stint in Belize, Alyssa hopes to move to D.C. and work in the non-profit sector, with a focus on youth service.

"My motto for my presidency was to stay true to LMU," Alyssa said. "The best advice I can give is to stay true to yourself, no matter where you are in life."