California State University, BakersfieldSchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Scholar
After her father was deported to Mexico when
she was 5, Denisse Silva suffered anxiety
and depression as her mother struggled to
provide for her and her three siblings. Despite
continuing emotional challenges, she did
not seek help due to the cultural stigma that
mental health care carries for many in the
Hispanic community. Denisse coped with it on
her own until she witnessed the transformative
power that therapy can provide while working
at a youth wilderness program.
Denisse just completed her first year in
the master’s program, studying counseling
psychology at California State University,
Bakersfield. Her belief in the connection
between mental health and physical wellbeing has also prompted her to volunteer as a
yoga teacher for at-risk youth and those with
physical and emotional challenges.
Her plans include creating an outdoor
therapy program, working with marginalized
populations and endeavoring to destigmatize
therapy among Hispanic communities.