KamRon Perry, a junior who transferred to Whittier College from DeAnza College in Cupertino, CA has been running cross-country for almost half of his life.
“I had a lot of energy growing up and my mom threw me into cross country,” said Perry. “The people I’ve met through that sport, I just fell in love with.”
“It’s my tenth year running cross-country,” said Perry. When asked what he enjoys most about cross country, he revealed that he appreciates the sense of self-improvement he feels when he runs. “Getting better every time, reaching new goals, the camaraderie that comes with being on the team,” said Perry. “We can’t physically support each other, so it’s a lot of emotion involved.”
Perry’s passion for running is matched by his passion for helping others. “I’m also really passionate about helping people, which is why I’ve chosen to go into Psychology. It’s a really good field to figure out how to help people not only with mental illness, but also as a way of helping people get through life in general,” said Perry. “Psychology can help with all of that.”
When he’s not running with his teammates, Perry is working for Trumpet Behavioral Health, an organization that focuses on providing behavioral therapy for adults and children with autism. He has worked there for about a year now. “I mostly work with children. I have a talent for working with the littlest ones because they love it when I pick them up. But I normally work with autistic kids, usually the higher functioning ones because that’s my specialty, and I just sort of help them learn. I help them learn their shapes, how to talk, it’s not really a set thing we do for each kid. It’s more of a case-by-case kind of thing,” said Perry on the work that he does with Trumpet. “How can we help this kid live a normal life? And we just go from there.”
Perry’s passion for his work does not go unnoticed and he feels that it is rewarding. “I feel a lot more fulfilled. I feel that I’m helping people a lot. I was on a case for a really long time with this kid, and when I met him he couldn’t speak at all. But after a couple months with me he was talking, he was saying please and not being as violent. When I left, his mother was really upset and said that I was the best therapist they’d had so far,” revealed Perry. “That really touched me, and I felt that I was doing something better for another person and their family.”
Since Perry is a transfer, he is still adjusting to Whittier, “[Whittier] is very intimate, I don’t have to commute anymore,” Perry said, in reference to his previous experience as a commuter at DeAnza College. “The professors are all wonderful and hilarious. I liked having a new start, a fresh start.”
Perry likes that Whittier is a small college, and he also appreciates the social life. “Everyone here is a character. It is great building relationships and talking to people,” reflected Perry. “Getting them to laugh, them making me laugh.”
Music is also an area where Perry shows strong interest. “One of my friends is trying to get me to join the Men’s A’capella Group,” said Perry, who has experience singing in Church and in a band for six years.
“I played the trumpet and baritone, the low brass section,” Perry said. His favorite instrument to play is the tuba. “It’s the bass. It’s the biggest part of the band. Everyone tunes off the tuba. Everybody listens for that bassline,” explained Perry. “Even the drum section listens for that.”
Perry is set to graduate in the spring of 2018. Along with the rest of the Men’s Cross Country Team, he will compete in the SCIAC Multi-Duals at La Mirada Regional Park this upcoming Saturday, Oct. 1.