Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day! One of our favorite things about the FACES Program is getting to know our students, who come from so many different cultures and lived experiences. Today, we are amplifying the voice of Crystal Coriz, a recent FACES graduate from the Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque, NM. Here’s Crystal’s note to all of you:
Hello everyone, my name is Crystal Coriz and I am a freshman attending the University of New Mexico (UNM). I was born and raised in Alburquerque, New Mexico where I have represented my Navajo and Santo Domingo background for 18 years. While attending school at Native American Community Academy (NACA) I had become increasingly interested in pharmacy, especially during my Junior year of high school. As a result, I am majoring in pharmaceutical sciences and plan to complete my dual degree in a Master of Science and PharmD after receiving my Bachelor of Science. However, I found that despite the many resources provided at UNM there are many struggles I continue to face. Within my Introduction to Pharmacy, I have found through the experiences I received from FACES and CNM does not compare to my classmates. I found it increasingly obvious that my classmates had greater access to resources such as tutors found within the family, participating in classes and programs about pharmacy, and some who have already taken tests involving their expertise. It was important to ask questions myself in order to keep up with the instructor’s expectations but I found that my background held me back. Understandably, receiving an education takes a bunch of time and effort and for many Indigenous families, these demands can influence where money should be placed. This is why I found it hard to provide myself with the much-needed resources I needed prior to class as my classmates have done. However, this hasn’t discouraged me from pursuing my major because despite my background I have found myself becoming more independent in asking for help and reaching out to those who could help. FACES has taught me to look forward to serving a purpose I believe is worth my time by creating resources and opportunities for myself and future healthcare workers. This is an experience I will address in the years to come and will always be excited about what is to come at UNM, especially with the help of FACES. Wish me good luck and my future endeavors within the health field.
– Crystal Coriz