Marina Marmolejo '17
Marina Marmolejo '17
Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering

Marina Marmolejo spent four days and three nights living on Los Angeles’ skid row – as part of an LMU course – witnessing firsthand the scope and scale of the epidemic of homelessness. The junior health and human sciences major set out to be of service.

Marmolejo and a colleague applied to be Clinton Global Initiative Project fellows. The resulting project, “Empowering Women Through Physical Health,” examines and assists homeless women with their muscle fitness.

The project comes on the heels of a previous effort. After her initial stay on skid row, Marmolejo wondered if there was a relationship between the different weight-bearing activities that come with being homeless, and hamstring flexibility. “The hamstring is associated with a person’s gait, posture, balance,” Marmolejo says, labeling hamstrings, “a very core and important muscle.”

When she analyzed her data, she didn’t find a correlation. Along the way, however, Marmolejo learned something she says is important: becoming a patient and empathetic listener. “It’s not always about getting the data,” Marmolejo says. “It’s about giving the opportunity to have connection, to have human interaction. It’s a respect thing.”

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