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November 11, 2020

Student-athlete Alyssa Oviedo understands what it means to find and follow one’s passion. The health sciences/emergency medicine junior started dreaming about a career in health care about the same time she began kicking soccer balls, and she’s been doing both ever since.

“I have wanted to be a pediatrician since I was five years old,” said Oviedo, who grew up in Clifton, New Jersey. “It’s really cool that pediatricians are able to watch kids grow up and help them maintain their health. I am also thinking about maybe pursuing a career in emergency medicine.”

She enjoys the opportunity to concentrate on the field of medicine while learning about diverse aspects of health care.

“Health sciences is a major that is flexible enough to allow me to explore different interests while also incorporating really interesting courses in public health, global health, and health communication.”

A licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Oviedo did her EMT training at UVM and she volunteers with Essex Rescue. Every Monday night, she looks forward to her shift working side-by-side with Advanced EMT’s and paramedics, eating dinner together and practicing life-saving skills.

“I learn so much every shift about health care, from clinical things to bedside manner,” she said. “When someone calls for an ambulance it can be a scary experience for the patient and their family. Being able to help them feel better is so rewarding.”

Oviedo plays midfield for the UVM Women’s Soccer team. In her sophomore season she ranked second on the team with 26 shots. She plays also for the Dominican Republic national team, and last spring she served as team captain at the 2020 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF ) Women's U-20 World Cup Championship. She was named most outstanding player for the Dominican Republic at the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 World Cup Championship qualification.

Oviedo participates in the UVM Student-Athletes of Color affinity group and serves on UVM She Roars, an initiative to foster gender equity in sports. She volunteers for the UVM Athletics Inclusive Excellence Committee, participating in discussions on racial and gender equity within athletics. She appreciates the opportunity to learn and educate others about issues of race, gender and social determinants of health. She’s busy, but she makes sure to fit in self-care: Favorite pastimes include cooking Dominican and Peruvian foods, watching movies with friends and playing with her dog.

How does Oviedo balance so many activities with her school work?

“I have learned over my 16 years of playing soccer that an athlete will always be tired,” she said. “Each group I am part of is extremely understanding of the limitations on time that a student-athlete faces. I feel very passionately about all the work I do. I am grateful to be making a difference.”

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