Marilyn Perez-Aviles is studying to become a substance abuse counselor at Wilbur Wright College. She was a member of the PCORI-funded consumer research team at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she conducted research to find out about local healthcare needs of Hispanics/Latinos who suffer from serious mental illness.
She also helped design the Hispanic/Latino peer navigator training manual that is used by peer navigators in Chicago. Despite dealing with PTSD and depression since 2010, her vision is to invest her time helping others. Perez-Aviles is also working towards a peer support specialist certification.