Alumni Spotlight: Catalina Barroso


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Catalina Barroso, North Penn Class of 2018 graduate, is on the road to success at Temple University where she is a freshman majoring in Psychology with a focus in Clinical Neuroscience, and a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience.

“I decided to pursue this major because I knew I wanted to help kids someday and the Neuroscience field is a field that really intrigues me so from there I decided to pursue a career as a pediatric neuropsychologist,” mentioned Barroso.

Throughout her time at the high school, Barroso took all Honors classes and AP courses including Art History, Psychology, Spanish, and Bio.

Barroso was also involved in North Penn’s winter and spring track and field team up until the 11th grade. She was a senator in her class’s student government association, and was an active member in Key Club as well as a cabinet member during senior year.

“Meeting new people in high school was definitely a highlight, it gave me the ability to make all the friends I have now who are still my best friends. I also loved all the friends I made through track and the relationships formed through the extracurriculars I was involved in,” Barroso said.

Barroso got accepted into the Reilly Lab at Temple that focuses on Concepts and Cognition. She was also elected as an E-Board member, Community Service Chair, for a new organization at Temple called SALUD.

SALUD is an organization that maintains the determination and confidence of Latinx students who are interested in a career in the health field. It gives students the tools to become strong, competitive applicants who will impact their respective field.

“I knew I wanted to become an active member of this organization because I, being a Hispanic pursuing a career in the health field, want to be a part of other Hispanic/Latino students and their journey to success,” said Barroso.

Barroso also had the opportunity to volunteer in a program called Puentes a Las Artes which is partnered with the Barnes Foundation to offer an after-school program for Hispanic kids to promote bilingualism. The Barnes Foundation is an Art Collection and educational institution in Center City founded by Albert Barnes. The class was taught mainly in Spanish and the kids were taught to express themselves through art and help develop their vocabulary as well as their ability to describe their emotions, and what they see such as in paintings.

“This was by far my favorite experience because I was able to help the kids express themselves through art as well as help keep their Spanish alive and a part of their lives because I took a Language and Society class last semester and in one of the chapters we read charts and graphs on how the next and continuing generations of Hispanics/Latinos are not keeping their Spanish and the majority of them do not speak it because either their parents do not emphasize learning it or the child themselves do not want to learn because no one around them speaks it,” explained Barroso.

Barroso hopes to go onto graduate school after her undergrad, pursue a doctorate in Clinical Neuroscience, and go on to be a Pediatric Neuropsychologist. She also hopes to open her own practice in the future.

“I plan on becoming more involved when SALUD begins and become a gateway for students to help them make a name for themselves, so more Hispanics/Latinos can be successful in the health field and achieve their long-term goals,” said Barroso.

Favorite part about college

“The diversity of the people and the expansive amount of clubs and organizations, no one is left out. I also love the sense of freedom you are given in College, although this might be scary for some, I like doing everything for myself and knowing that I am the reason for any small successes from opportunities taken at school.”

What do you miss about North Penn?

“The most thing I miss about North Penn is the people, I miss seeing all of my friends every single day and all the memories we would make together. I also miss some of my teachers that encouraged me to do the things I do now and gave me the confidence to pursue my goals.”

Advice to High Schoolers:

“My advice to high schoolers is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you and do get as involved in extracurriculars as possible, but only in extracurriculars that truly interest you so that you may put forth all of your efforts undoubtedly.”