Commencement Spotlight: Vasty Nazario
Dec. 6, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Crandall
“Commencement Spotlight” highlights SHSU's upcoming graduates with stories from Bearkats that demonstrate a “can-do” spirit through challenges and service. Visit today@sam/commencementspotlight to read more.
Bilingual Health Care Studies
A bilingual health care studies major at Sam Houston State University, Vasty Nazario plans to continue helping bridge the language barrier gap, specifically when it comes to medical information and care. Upon graduation this month, Nazario will begin her career as a qualified mental health professional with Marvelous Counseling & Therapy, PLLC in Houston, where she began as a receptionist three years ago.
Growing up, she was raised in an area considered poor; but at the time, Nazario didn’t know any different, which contributed to her passion for helping others. Support from her parents also inspired her efforts to create a better life.
“Behind my backyard was a bar, and hearing shootings and all that was normal to me. Now that I understand that such things are considered to be part of a lower socioeconomic status, there is more of a passion to assist individuals in those conditions and make them aware of helpful resources,” Nazario said. “My parents were always very hard workers, and what I saw through them and their encouragement for us was how important it is honor God above all else and to try our best in life.”
Obtaining her degree from SHSU was no walk in the park, but Nazario has overcome financial, health and transportation challenges as a first-generation college student.
“The main issue was financial trouble, which led to me taking double the time it would normally take for someone to get their bachelor’s degree. I also had to commute every day to campus; on a good day, it took an hour and fifteen minutes one way,” she said. “And, when the pandemic hit, I was very hesitant to continue because my mother’s health hasn’t always been the best. All these things made it difficult, but I also did not want to lose my identity as an individual outside of what my educational goals are.”
Despite the struggles, Nazario has been able to complete her degree, serve as a teaching assistant for the Department of Sociology, participate in an internship focused on Hispanic/Latinx inequalities and stay heavily involved with her church as a volunteer for the youth and children’s ministries. She is also writing an article related to the Texas border life experience research project.
“It brings not only happiness for myself, but also gratitude towards God and my parents, because I can honor them with earning my cap and gown and share with them the accomplishments and opportunities that I have had with the university,” Nazario said.
While Nazario’s college experience may have looked different from many, she is prepared and excited to take on challenges in the workforce because of her education from SHSU.
“I originally chose Sam Houston State because it is one of the more affordable universities,” Nazario explained. “But, what I really enjoyed seeing before and during my time here is that it’s a very diverse university and that the professors really do care about their students. It is obvious that they aren’t just here to get paid, but they are concerned with what we’re going to do in life after graduation.”
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