Jayzona Alberto is All About Doing the Right Thing
USD Magazine — “Coming into USD, I didn’t think I was going to get involved. I did so much in high school and thought I just wanted to study in college, maybe get a job. But that definitely wasn’t the path that was given to me.
I’m not the kind of person who can sit back and do nothing. Of course, I was at USD for school, but at the same time I wanted to make something of myself here.
At first, I was part of University Ministry and volunteered through my sociology class as a freshman. I raised awareness about healthy lifestyle choices the next year through Campus Connections and was co-chair of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. And then I found my home in the United Front Multicultural Center. I remember planning multicultural night when we started talking about having a dance for the UF, and now it’s an annual tradition. That was exciting. After that, they actually hired me to be on staff. I took on that position in my junior year and also was director of multicultural programming for Associated Students, so all of my work tied together. That’s when things got really busy.
Looking back, I had some struggles. My parents both went to school in the Philippines and I don’t have brothers or sisters, so the hardest thing for me was to understand how to register for my psychology and leadership classes and what it would take to get into pharmacy school. I didn’t have anyone to show me the way.
I also noticed that a lot of my freshman friends struggled with not having one-on-one attention and they were not feeling connected, especially as underrepresented students. So, I co-founded the Link Peer Mentoring Program within the UF. We paired 44 students with 22 mentors this year, giving the new students someone to turn to who’s already been through it all. It’s kind of a legacy I’m leaving here at USD.
My parents have taught me a lot about striving for your goals and doing what you know is right. Even so, they thought I was stretching myself too thin. But when I received the Woman of Impact award by USD’s Women’s Center in December, they realized how much of a difference I was making. They were so proud, and that made me want to work harder and to overcome anything.
I spent a lot of time with UF and as vice chair of the Torero Program Board this last year, and I am putting together a scholarship fund for a student who shows a commitment to diversity and inclusion at USD. That’s something I can still be involved with. I don’t think I could leave USD and just not care anymore.
I’ve invested a lot of my time and my efforts here. I’ve learned so much from my advisers, and my friends have said they want to follow in my footsteps. That validation pushes me to be an example that I hope others can follow.
It’s hard to let go, but I know I am leaving USD in good hands. And seeing that I might have made a difference in some people’s lives really gives me closure so I know I can leave and be okay.”
— Jayzona Alberto ’11, BA, Psychology
[As Told To Trisha J. Ratledge]
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of USD Magazine.