Alissa Ward is our new WDRC Youth Program volunteer. She will be graduating from Western Washington University this Spring (2019) with a double major in Psychology and Communication. Alissa took an eclectic approach to obtain a breadth of knowledge in both fields; and, in particular, classes with a cross-cultural or intercultural focus. She plans to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in cross-cultural and intercultural studies.
Alissa’s dream career is working with underserved communities in the United States. She hopes to make a difference by helping to reduce mental health stigma and address trauma in ways that are respectful, realistic, meaningful, and congruent with the values and worldviews of these communities. Although psychotherapy will likely be a large part of her future career, she also hopes to experience multiple roles within the field of mental health, maybe one day establishing her own center for mental health.
Reflecting on the above, it is clear to see why the WDRC was an obvious choice for Alissa to begin her professional experience. She was excited to see the Youth Program’s goals to promote healthy communication of conflict for the young people of Whatcom County. Alissa deeply believes educating our young people on how to resolve conflict in healthy ways can make a huge difference in society and in the life trajectories of these youth.
More personally, Alissa has a bi-cultural background of Puerto Rican and White American. She continues to accept and adapt to the challenge of living in both worlds. She has grown up in Western Washington, and like many, loves all sorts of outdoor activities, especially when they include her dog, Charlie, whom she has had for nine years. Her interests also extend to reading, cooking, and talking with people of diverse backgrounds.