Miryam Perez

University of St. Francis freshman Miryam Perez was selected as one of 16 individuals nominated by readers of Joliet’s Herald News as an “Everyday Hero,” described by the paper as “the unsung volunteers who coach our teams, help our neighbors and mentor our children. They lend a helping hand where it is needed most and serve as models for the community.” She was honored at a special celebration on Sept. 8 at the Joliet Country Club. Read the story below or view it on the Herald News website by clicking here!


Everyday Hero: Miryam Perez

By Allison Selk, Shaw Media Correspondent – Sept. 13, 2017. Photo by Eric Ginnard, eginnard@shawmedia.com.

University of St. Francis freshman and Joliet Central High School graduate Miryam Perez said her childhood on the east side of Joliet has molded her into a community activist as well as shaped her career goals.

This biology major wants to have a career as a general physician and has high hopes to work alongside other physicians at free clinics in Joliet, or open her own one day, wherever life takes her.

“I believe everyone deserves to have health coverage and check ups,” Perez said.

Perez spearheaded projects such as school messages on kindness, them day activities and outreach at local homeless shelters.

“Once per month, we would bring cupcakes, games and food to the homeless shelters. We want those people to feel cared about and we want other people to be conscious of what is going on in our community. We wanted to start a chain reaction,” Perez said.

“Miryam is wonderful and fantastic. She was one of those students who handled everything and when she was asked to do something, she always gave an ‘of course’ response,” Samsa said.

Perez said she has support from her parents and brother, and her upbringing on the east side of Joliet gave her compassion because she saw underprivileged people every day. The clubs in high school spoke to her, she said.

“I do the jobs that other people don’t want to do. I do it and don’t want to receive anything for it. I want to know I made a difference,” Perez said. “I hope I’m creating a better developed community, a safer community where people feel like family and more connected.”