Luna Alazar

Class of 2024: Luna Alazar

A first-generation student and child of immigrants, Luna Alazar believes deeply in the impact of quality education. She graduates with her bachelor’s degree in youth and social innovation and will begin her master’s in higher education at UVA EHD this summer.

Laura Hoxworth

Luna Alazar chose to study youth and social innovation because of a passion for ensuring that all children, regardless of their background, have access to quality education.

Her time at UVA profoundly shaped by the tragic loss of Lavel Davis, D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler, as well as the support and encouragement she found from faculty and staff throughout her undergraduate journey, Alazar will begin UVA EHD's higher education master’s program this summer. She intends to pursue a career in college administration with a particular interest in violence prevention and safety advocacy.

Q: What inspired you to choose a career in education?

As a first-generation student and child of immigrants, I deeply appreciate the critical role that education plays as a cornerstone for prosperity and opportunity. Recognizing the impact of quality education on individuals and communities inspired my commitment to ensuring all children, regardless of background, have access to comprehensive and inclusive education. I believe that education is not just about imparting knowledge, but about empowering individuals to become agents of positive change in their own lives and communities. The future of our youth holds immense promise when equipped with the appropriate resources, and I am eager to contribute to the transformative process that shapes the next generation.

Q: Why did you choose the UVA School of Education & Human Development for your program of study?  

I chose the UVA School of Education & Human Development for my program of study because there is truly no other place like it. Throughout my entire college experience, UVA EHD has felt like home. The exceptional support from the staff and faculty, coupled with the enriching learning environment, has made me feel incredibly valued, understood, and appreciated. This unique atmosphere has not only nurtured my academic growth but has also empowered me to thrive personally and professionally. The sense of community and dedication to excellence at UVA EHD align perfectly with my aspirations and values, making it the ideal place for me to pursue my educational journey.

Q: What is the most significant thing that has shaped your time here?

The most defining aspect of my journey here at the University of Virginia has been the tragedy of November 13, 2022, when I witnessed the loss of my friends, Lavel Davis, D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler. Their departure marked a pivotal moment in my life, challenging me in ways I never imagined. Yet, from this sorrow emerged a newfound strength, a resilience that became the cornerstone of my character. It ignited within me an unwavering determination to safeguard the well-being of my fellow students, particularly in the realms of violence prevention and safety advocacy.  

In the aftermath of this profound loss, I embarked on a journey of healing and growth, driven by a deep-rooted commitment to honor the memory of those we lost. Through adversity, I found clarity of purpose and a heightened sense of empathy, fueling my academic pursuits and inspiring me to make a meaningful impact on campus. As I move forward, I carry with me the legacies of Lavel Davis, D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler, forever embedded in my heart. Their spirit guides my path, reminding me of the importance of resilience, empathy, and community.

Q: If you can, name one person who has made a special impact during your studies and how?

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to those who have had a special impact on my academic journey. I deeply appreciate Bernadette Poerio for her consistent support and check-ins, Melissa Levy for her encouragement and role in fostering my academic success, and the invaluable collaboration of my YSI Capstone team.  

Furthermore, I am grateful to Stephanie Adamson, Ryan Sherman, and Isabel Palmer for creating an environment that has allowed me to thrive and realize my full potential. Professor 'Lady T' Davis has been particularly motivational in encouraging me to utilize creative outlets as sources of strength. I am also thankful for the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) staff, especially Dean Kelly, whose commitment to inclusivity and racial equity has been a significant source of inspiration. Lastly, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) staff at EHD has played a pivotal role in helping me embrace my identity within academic settings.

Q: What will you be doing next?

The profound impact of my experience, as well as the unwavering support I received from the Student Affairs department, inspired a redirection of my career. Moving forward, I am excited to continue my educational journey by pursuing a master's degree in higher education here at the University of Virginia. My goal is to assume a leadership role within university administration, influencing policies and procedures that cater to the needs of students. I aspire to build strong relationships and advocate for initiatives that foster a safe and inclusive environment for all students. My experiences and dedication have prepared me to make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of students. I am eager to contribute meaningfully to the field of higher education through research, advocacy, and program development aimed at enhancing student welfare and promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives within educational institutions. 

Class of 2024 Graduation Profiles

We invite you to get to know a few members of the UVA EHD Class of 2024 as we celebrate the accomplishments of the entire class.

News Information

Media Contact

Laura Hoxworth

Research Center or Department

  • Human Services