Hi everyone! My name is Alex Lekas.
I am currently a first year graduate student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program here at UNL.
I am originally from Algonquin, Illinois – a northwest suburb of Chicago where both of my parents still reside. Algonquin is a town containing roughly 30,000 people and consists of predominantly white and middle-class families. However, I would definitely consider Chicago to be my home away from home since I spent four years living in the city during my undergraduate experience at Loyola University Chicago. Having lived in an Indian neighborhood throughout these four years, I have become fascinated with the food, customs, and people of India. Needless to say, I am very excited to learn more about the colorful and unique culture that India has to offer!
I am from a very small family. My immediate family consists of myself, my father Angelo, and my mother Mary. While I have great relationships with both of my parents, I would have to say that I am especially close to my mom. Not only has she been the most loving and accepting mother I could have asked for, but she is also my best friend and confidant. In addition, we have five cats named Peanut, Kiwi, Pumpkin, Lyla, and Athena who I would definitely consider to be family!
Something interesting about me is that I have an extreme passion for animals and animal rights. In my eyes, it is amazing how much of a positive effect animals can have on the well-being and happiness of humans. Additionally, as a way to support animal rights, I have been a vegetarian for the past seven years. I am counting down the days until we visit Ranthambore National Park during our trip!
There are many things I hope to learn from this trip. Mainly, I want to become more culturally aware as a future therapist. Having knowledge regarding the values and customs of different cultures will not only benefit me on a personal level, but it will enable me to provide the best possible treatment to my future clients. I am beyond ecstatic to start my cultural exploration in India!