My name is Karen Galiano, and I am a Mexican-American from Doraville, Georgia. My parents are immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico— an aspect of my identity that I am proud to carry. Doraville is an area that is rich with Hispanic immigrants, which allowed me to be immersed in my culture. It also allowed me to experience the trepidation that ICE raids bring to Latinx communities. In 2017, my family and I moved to Winder, Georgia because gentrification in Doraville caused dramatic increases in rent that we were not able to pay. It was in Winder that my brother and I were in a car accident, leaving me disabled with a herniated disc and suffering from chronic pain. Even though I am limited in my abilities and mobility, this accident has only driven me to pursue my passions even more.

In the pursuit of academics, psychology has been one of the subjects that has compelled me the most. My desire to assist those at a disadvantage has been a major factor in choosing the social sciences. Outside of academics, a major part of my life has been dedicated to art. I have branched out to the public as an artist, especially in high school. I had my art shown at the High Museum, I received the Silver Key Scholastic Art and Writing Award in 2017, and I was chosen to be an art major in the Governor’s Honors Program at Berry College in 2018.  There hasn’t been an art piece that wasn’t impacted by my environment and my experiences, and being able to express myself through art always gives me a new perspective on every part of life. Art has impacted the way I look at the world, and the world has impacted the way I create art.