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May 3, 2021

SVSU graduating seniors: Kathy Perez


social work major

Detroit native


Kathy’s story

As a student, Kathy Perez challenged herself to help people see beyond negative stereotypes too often associated with too many populations in the United States.

As a student program coordinator in SVSU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Kathy took on this challenge when she organized a Lowrider Display event as part of SVSU’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations in 2019.

Committed both to honoring Hispanic heritage and fighting negative stereotypes often tied to the lowrider community, Kathy arranged for vehicles to be displayed at SVSU in a setting that allowed attendees to learn about the culture surrounding the lowrider communities.

The event invited guest speakers including a state representative and a lowriding icon, all while attendees enjoyed food and music that were provided. The event was free and open to the public.

Kathy remains proud of the awareness she helped raise at an event that celebrated the lowrider culture that was part of her upbringing.

We asked Kathy a series of questions about her overall experience at SVSU. Here are her responses:


What was your favorite memory at SVSU?

“My favorite memory at SVSU was moving into the dorms my freshman year. It was such a bittersweet moment for me that I will always remember. It was the day I started a new chapter of my life and the day I got to leave my parent’s ‘nest.’ I was part of the Public School Academy Scholar Program so I was able to move in a week before everyone else, meaning I had extra time to explore campus before everyone else started to move in.”


What was your proudest accomplishment at SVSU?

“My proudest accomplishment at SVSU was being able to plan and host the Lowrider Display for Hispanic Heritage Month in 2019. Being a student program coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, I was able to make this event happen after wanting to do it for so long. I grew up in the lowrider community and it was a part of who I am that I wanted to bring to SVSU. There are many negative stereotypes tied to the lowrider community and I wanted to show that there is more to it than just the negative stereotypes you hear.”


What advice would you give an incoming freshman at SVSU?

“Advice I would give incoming freshman at SVSU is to organize and manage your time and do not be afraid to ask for help! The first year in college takes some adjusting, managing your time and having a to-do list really helps. Another thing is to ask for help when you need it; professors and tutors are there to help you. Lastly, have fun and enjoy your college experience. Time flies by!”


What are your plans after graduation?

“After graduation, I will be attending Wayne State University to pursue a Master’s in Social Work (MSW). I was accepted into the Advanced Standing Program, meaning I will be graduating in May 2022, if all goes as planned. There is so much that can change from now until then. However, it is in my life plan to move out of state after receiving my MSW.”


The following are clubs, organizations and accomplishments that highlight Kathy’s SVSU experience:

  • Latino Awareness Association, including a 2-year term as president
  • E.M.E., where she was a founding member, vice president, and cultural awareness chairperson