Our Students

Elsie AriasElsie Arias

I am currently a second-year student in the PsyD program at the University of San Francisco. Born and raised in the Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco State University in 2017. Before attending graduate school, working at community-based agencies that provided mental health and legal services to marginalized Latinx populations in Oakland, inspired me to become a bilingual clinical psychologist.

The USF PsyD program’s emphasis on social justice and mission to serve underserved communities was a key factor in my decision. In addition to the program’s mission, the Latinx representation amongst program faculty was directly aligned with my goal of becoming a bilingual clinical psychologist.
By learning and shadowing bilingual clinicians and professors, I am receiving one-of-a-kind training and education. In the future, I hope to serve Latinx, Spanish-speaking immigrants, and asylum seekers who are undergoing the legal immigration process.

Taking advantage of the supplemental clinical training opportunity at the pilot program with ALAS, I am bringing necessary cultural sensitivity mental health services to underserved populations. I am honored to work alongside an agency and USF professors that prioritize and support the needs of this population.

I feel proud to utilize my cultural background and bilingual skills to connect and serve Latinx individuals who seek mental health services.

At ALAS, I’ve had the unique experience of training and learning about clinical topics with an emphasis on culturally responsive lens."

Alexa CarbajalAlexa Carbajal

While earning my BA in Psychology from the University of San Francisco, I found a passion for working with underserved populations in community mental health settings.

I chose the PsyD program at the University of San Francisco because of its commitment to offering a quality and thorough education. It was imperative for me to enroll in a program that would teach me about, and how to interact with different cultures. I found USF’s commitment to social justice to be unparalleled by any other PsyD program.

USF makes it possible to achieve a quality education by ensuring that class sizes remain small and are led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable professors. An added benefit of receiving a USF education is the diversity of faculty and fellow peers; I feel that this diversity has made it possible to engage in thought-provoking and stimulating conversations in classes."

Karina DiazKarina Diaz

I grew up in Richmond, California. I come from a small Latinx family that taught me to be independent and allowed me to grow into an empathetic, strong, and trustworthy person.
I joined the USF PsyD program because of its strong emphasis on social justice and to work alongside Dr. Martínez and Dr. Garcia. They provide opportunities to serve marginalized Latinx individuals.
Since a young age, I knew I wanted to do more with my privileges, including speaking two languages and being a U.S. citizen.

I have been immensely grateful to have interned at ALAS pilot program. I am working directly with adults, providing individualized psychotherapy in Spanish, and connecting them to resources that range from tutoring for their children, community volunteer work, food drives for families, and more. I have been fortunate to develop my clinical skills in Spanish thanks to the supervision of Dr. Martínez. Training at ALAS has given me a strong foundation to support my future Latinx clients by providing culturally responsive care in Spanish and being able to collaborate with community members. ALAS welcomed me with open arms. I never felt like an outsider. I have a quiet and unique space to meet with my clients to make them feel at home with themes and colorful décor to keep the room vibrant and reflective of our culture."

Jennifer HoJennifer Ho

Prior to starting the Clinical Psychology PsyD Program, I worked for a nonprofit organization that provided support services to children and families involved in the foster care system. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my job, I realized that within this population, many unique needs were going unmet. I wanted to do more, and with my current degree, I was limited.

When I learned of USF’s PsyD program, which has an emphasis in Behavioral Health and focuses on diverse underserved populations, I immediately thought that it would be a good fit for me. Now that I have completed my first year, I know that I chose well. I enjoy the small class sizes, engaging professors, and opportunity to have a first year practicum placement (California Pacific Medical Center – Kalmanovitz Child Development Center).

In addition to my practicum placement, I also obtained a part-time Training Program Assistant position at USF’s Counseling and Psychological Services. All of these experiences keep me busy, but most importantly, I believe that I am receiving a well-rounded education that extends beyond the classroom. Ultimately, I hope to provide prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation services to children, youth, and families who have experienced trauma. With a PsyD from USF I know that I will receive a quality education that is progressive, diverse, and committed to social justice."