- IMPACT / Luis Mireles
Luis' original application video
“People love dancing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you can do.”
Luis’ dedication to helping those with disabilities stemmed from two of the most influential figures in his life—his brothers. His older brother battled Muscular Dystrophy, a disease characterized by muscle degeneration, and his little brother has Cerebral Palsy, a motor disability. He recalled how strangers would stare at his brothers, and Luis felt that much work needed to be done to get people to understand and embrace their differences.
Luis began his service in high school by joining the STAR Program on-campus, a club dedicated to providing adaptive recreational activities for students with disabilities and their families. As a volunteer with STAR, Luis would invite musicians to play for the students and he realized how much the students enjoyed dancing to the music. “People love dancing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you can do.”
“I hope to uplift the disabled community through adaptive dance therapy that will allow personal growth and champion self-expression.”
As a volunteer with STAR, Luis realized he could use his own talent for dance to provide an experience for people with disabilities that was both enjoyable and healing. “I hope to uplift the disabled community through adaptive dance therapy that will allow personal growth and champion self-expression.” Ultimately, Luis hopes his work will raise awareness of the experiences of people with disabilities and evoke change in how they are perceived in society.
“This is what I am supposed to do.”
To achieve his dreams, Luis attends the University of California, Berkeley, where he hopes to declare a molecular and cellular biology major with a minor in public policy. He is a member of two dance organizations on-campus, and organizes dance workshops at local high schools as a member of the Outreach Board. He also supports the Disabled Students’ Program as a note taker.
As he continues his education at UC Berkeley and evolves his dance skills, Luis has become more confident in his life’s purpose.