H. Grady Spruce grad aims to become a psychologist and help her parents become citizens


Karen Citlalli Chavarria, a senior at H. Grady Spruce High School, was born in Dallas and raised in Mexico City. In 2018, she returned to her hometown to attend high school, where she excelled academically.

At Spruce, Chavarria was part of the Peer Forward group and also participated in dance, choir and photography.

“Dance helped me to obtain more confidence, and I had the opportunity to join the drill team. I love to sing, so being in choir helped me to connect with the music. Photography brought me many opportunities, such as being recognized with the State VASE Gold Seal Award, and Peer Forward gave me the opportunity to interact with my peers and to help them during their college acceptance process,” Chavarria said.

Chavarria won the University of Texas at Dallas Bridge Scholarship and has committed to attend college and major in psychology. She is the first generation in her family to have this opportunity, and her goal is to inspire and help her two siblings to pursue their dreams.

“I strongly believe that this is the most important moment of my life because I have been dreaming and waiting for this since a long time ago. I applied to 25 universities, but since the beginning UTD fought for me,” said Chavarria. “This wonderful institution allowed me to be part of the Academic Bridge Program, and it is an honor to me to attend this school.”

Chavarria is conscious that we live in an ever-changing world, and that, unfortunately, not everyone realizes how important it is to prioritize mental health. When she graduates in psychology, she wants to help people find their own peace and be able to interact in this world without having the fear of being judged by stereotypes.

“I feel very proud to graduate. My next goal is to have my bachelor’s degree and then pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology,” she says. “My family has been a vital part of my personal and professional development, and I am very grateful to them. Someday I would like to be able to help my parents become citizens and give them back a little of what they have given me.”

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