Denisse Silva
Denisse Silva

​California State University, Bakersfield
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Scholar

I witnessed the transformative capacity of therapy and knew inside what I wanted to do with my life.

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.​