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Mariana de Andrea Pereira: A Goodnight Spotlight

We are happy to highlight our Hispanic and LatinX students during Hispanic Heritage Month! 

Ever since she was little, Mariana has been passionate about health and medicine. Now that she is at NC State, Mariana has been able to further develop her passions in medicine through extracurriculars and her major. Read more to learn about how Mariana de Andrea Pereira combines her racial and ethnic background with her interest in medicine.

1. Tell us about yourself!

My name is Mariana de Andrea Pereira, and I am a Biological Science major with two minors: Health, Medicine, and Human Values and Global Health. I discovered my passion for health when I was five. My uncle gave me a doctor’s care kit on national children’s day, and since this day, I started feeling love for the profession. Some classes during my undergraduate made me sure about my careers, such as Anatomy and Physiology, Entomology, and Endocrinology. Outside my academic life, I enjoy assembling puzzles, watching movies and series, spending time with my family and friends, going to events and meeting new people, traveling, going to the gym, baking, and singing (but I do not have any talent). One of my favorite hobbies is seeing the sunrise in every new place I go. One fun fact is I love Disney movies ( they somehow make me reflect on my actions and life at the same time fun), and I love to travel, thus, one of my dreams is to go to all six theme parks that Disney has ( California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong). Another fun fact is I was born and raised in Brazil, and I speak Portuguese. My favorite sports are volleyball and soccer, and I used to play both. My favorite places are Rio de Janeiro, Orlando, and beaches in general. 

2. Do you have any extracurriculars you would like to discuss?

During my community college years, I joined the honor class which was a research opportunity. At the end of the semester, I was doing research and presenting the findings on poster presentations during conferences as a part-time research assistant. It was an enriching experience and my best extracurricular experience. As I transferred to NCSU, I was deciding what extracurriculars aligned with my interests, goals, and values. Therefore, I decided to explore my options, and this semester I will be joining the Pre-health club at NCSU and being a volunteer at Alliance Medical Ministry. While I was exploring my options, I applied to some leadership positions at Goodnight, such as M2C trip leader, STEAM Coach, and Retreat Leader. I choose to start inside the goodnight community since it is a space where I feel welcomed and safe. I volunteered at Lego Brick Build this year and I love it. Thus I will be joining the event again this Fall Semester. 

3. What are some of your favorite things about the Goodnight Scholars Program?

There are many things that I love and enjoy about the Goodnight Scholars Program, but the sense of community is definitely my favorite. Transitioning to NC State is not easy coming from a Community College, but being part of the Goodnight community/ family was essential to me. It made me feel safe and comfortable. Inside the community, I feel that I have true friends, support for every decision I take, and space to grow personally and academically. The goodnight family is my favorite thing, but I also enjoy being able to ask for advice from the Pro-Staff, being able to develop my leadership skills, and never being judged by them. In addition, the opportunities to explore my passions that have been hidden due to my focus on my career were extremely gratifying. I love working with kids and travel and goodnight gave me opportunities to explore both. 

4. How have you been able to connect your racial and ethnic background to your major and involvement at NC State?

My racial and ethnic background is so important to me, so when I moved to NCSU I searched for Brazilian friends. They gave me emotional support outside the goodnight community during my first semester. I made some good friends and they made me feel at home. In addition, my minor is indirectly connected to my racial and ethnic background. I choose Global Health in order to connect my profession to my country and Latinx cultures. I had geography and current events during my high school, and they showed me the struggles of the world; therefore, I believe that being able to explore this focusing on the health field was important to me as a person and as a professional. I want to be able to help and support my racial and ethnic community doesn’t matter where I am. 

5. What are your future career and life goals? Do these goals connect to your racial and ethnic background?

My future career consists in going to medical school and doing my specialty in pediatrics. My dream is to work in the hospital and be able to promote a better lifestyle for children. I believe that indirectly my major links to my racial and ethnic background since Brazil is a developing country and I always studied the struggles of the health department. Therefore, the goal was to work in public hospitals in Brazil to be able to provide low-income families access to health. I believe that now my goal will extend to helping the Latinx community access it. First, I would like to learn Spanish so I could communicate with almost every patient in the hospital, second volunteer as a provider at local clinics, and third, do volunteer services in rural areas. My life goals revolve around my career, but definitely building a family, traveling, and knowing as many cultures as possible are my top life goals. 

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