Angelica Alberto is a true influencer in the most prominent manner. Yes, she’s gorgeous and has a solid following — yet she’s also making a real difference in the world with tangible results. She is a Social Media Influencer while also juggling being a student physical therapist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. Angelica has a strong vision of helping others and is a mentor for those who want to accomplish their goals. Angelica is also an advocate for children and education. Currently, she splits her time between Chicago and Los Angeles and has numerous exciting projects she’s involved with. Angelica is also the Founder of Gravitas Beauty and Wellness in L.A. that she manages with her mom. Between her academic and entrepreneurial schedule, Angelica is very busy.
When Angelica had a moment to stop, she spoke with Gemma Magazine about her career aspirations, life as a graduate student, and her status as new “It Girl.”
What inspired you to become a Physical Therapist? What was the spark? I’ve always been fascinated by human movement and biomechanics. Growing up, I was regularly involved in some sport, so physical activity just naturally became a part of my lifestyle. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school (when I played on my high school’s volleyball team) did I think about becoming a physical therapist. After enduring my injury that stopped me from playing my favorite sport and doing things I love, I was exposed to the world of physical therapy and rehabilitation. It was fascinating to see how physical therapists work towards helping people with various types of musculoskeletal, chronic pains, and injuries to get back to doing what they love again. Even more so, activities that we tend to take for granted, such as walking, running, being able to pick things up off the shelf, or the ground. From this point, I knew this was the field I wanted to get into because of the power behind becoming a movement specialist.
You are very goal-oriented. Where do you get your motivation and discipline? Growing up, my parents always taught me the importance of the concept of delayed gratification. I still refer to the cookie experiment where two young children are given one cookie each. The children are told that if they can restrain themselves from eating the cookie for an hour, then they will get another cookie. One child could not resist the taunting cookie and ended up eating it, while the other child ended up waiting and was rewarded with two cookies.
As simple as this example may be, I believe in the power of delayed gratification because it became indicative of developing strong willpower – a crucial component of grit. The moments leading up to a possible reward are ALWAYS the most challenging, painstakingly, difficult times because of the mere fact that we are not even aware of what’s out there. If we just pushed a little further every time we had the chance, we open up unlimited opportunities. Sometimes it’s even easier to slack off or stay within our comfort zone on our journey towards whatever our individualized ‘point B’ destinations are because of a variety of reasons:
–We believe that no one can help drive or assist us towards that point B (or even further) is watching.
— We have no clear and concise vision of what exactly our point B is.
Noting these reasons, I continuously work towards developing my WHY to help me figure out what my point B destination is, followed by being brutally honest with myself about where I stand with those goals. Being able to work backward from the vision I have for myself helps me to know what exactly I need to do and work on to get there much more efficiently.
Tell us a bit about your new spa, Gravitas. The products and services look incredible. Thanks! When we conceptualized Gravitas, we envisioned it as a go-to place for self-rejuvenation, offering a unique experience that incorporates a variety of services that will help our clients to look and feel their best both inside and out. Our mission is to help our clients bring out the best possible version of themselves. We will provide a personalized consultation to address their specific skincare needs, and we will educate them on the services and products that are best suited for them. Gravitas is committed to offering innovative treatments and products that are result-driven. That’s why my mother and I are in constant search of the latest technology in the market so we can bring it back to our current and future clientele. I’m so excited for everyone to try Gravitas’ amazing services and help anyone along with their beauty and wellness journey!
How does Gravitas stand out from the rest of the spas? When my mother and I decided to open up this spa, we wanted to make sure we would stay true to our mission of wanting to deliver unique, excellent quality services and products by always paying careful attention to details. We have a series of amazing facials, services, and products offered only within Gravitas that everyone has to try for themselves to see what it’s all about! Gravitas is not just another spa but rather a place to cultivate a holistic and nurturing environment for the people we have the opportunity of working with. We want to empower anyone who has the desire to bring out the best version of themselves.
How you help others is very inspiring. Do you see yourself as a mentor to others? Absolutely. There is no question I would not be on the path that I am if it weren’t for the mentors I have had – past and present – to guide me along the way. I had the opportunity of being a guest speaker for the undergraduate research program, BUILD PODER. I was a part of my Alma mater, where I shared several stories of my experiences about the challenging, yet rewarding process of getting into grad school as well as what it’s like! I believe there are many blessings in the world to go around — so why not share your journey and experiences you have already endured with someone who may benefit from it?
My mentor, Ms. Olivia Quido-Co, is the inspirational force behind who inspires my vision for being a potential mentor to others in the future. Her beautiful, selfless outlook on life led her to a series of amazing experiences for which she owes to her relationship with the Lord. Olivia also spends time giving back and not being afraid to help those around her fulfill their dreams.
What causes do you support?
I believe that education has personally given me so many opportunities to learn so much about my passions and just several other life experiences I would never have imagined acquiring if it weren’t for such. This is why I am an advocate for helping children and communities who live in abject poverty through a non-profit organization I started back in 2016 called the ACA Scholarship Foundation. Our mission is to provide educational supplies and resources for lesser privileged children to help achieve their goals and dreams in life. By allowing these children to learn and grow through their education, I believe this will give them the skills and tools they need to be the game changers of our generation. Eventually, they will give back and do the same thing to help others later on in life.
Secondly, I am a keen advocate for mitigating chronic illnesses and diseases, which continues to motivate me throughout pursuing both my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Master’s in Public Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Each day, I love learning about the different ways we as PTs can be the source of primary preventive methods against ailments such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases that affect nearly 6 in 10 adults today. This is what motivated me to push for the holistic, wellness aspect of Gravitas because, for us to be able to perform optimally, we intuitively must function optimally.
Once we are up and running, we plan to allocate some of the funds from Gravitas towards the ACA Scholarship Foundation to help provide scholarships and resources for students within lower socioeconomic communities.
How do you feel about being a Social Media Influencer?
I’ve honestly come to appreciate the dynamic that social media has that allows us to connect so easily with different people all over the world. I love educating and sharing with people about the things I love, the knowledge I have, as well as the things that inspire me in the hopes that this, too, may encourage and be of use for someone else. I also love being able to share my journey about all my current experiences in grad school while starting Gravitas with anyone interested. At the same time, learning to balance my time on social media for this purpose alone while also carrying out my obligations in school and the spa is a bit challenging. Still, it’s honestly pushed me to really utilize and plan my days out efficiently!
How has your family been supportive of your goals?
Through every single venture and milestone in my life, my family has been my number one supporters. I honestly would not have had the courage to go through so many out-of-comfort zone experiences if it weren’t for the strong foundation and support my family has given me through each step of the way. For this, I’m beyond grateful because there’s no way I would be where I am today if it weren’t for them. There have been several moments where I had so much self-doubt about pursuing a new venture that was so beyond my comfort zone, but the fact that my family always believed in me is the driving force that keeps me going each day.
What do you do in your downtime to relax? Whether I’m in Chicago or LA, I love exploring these two beautiful cities. Sometimes, I’ll even bother my best friend to come to walk around a new part of the town with no real game plan just for the sake of seeing what’s hidden gems we can find – restaurant or store wise. Mainly when I’m back in LA, I LOVE hiking. As I’m writing this, I’m actually on a flight back to Chicago and already having withdrawals from the California sun and beautiful hiking trails. Otherwise, I love baking with my little sister or watching random shows on Netflix!
Chicago or LA? Both are amazing cities with high energy, but is there a preference? Wow, Elisabeth, honestly, that’s such a good question! I’ve come to love such different aspects of each city – both with their unique ambiance and energy. Being back home just a week ago made me realize why so many people come to Los Angeles. Waking up to the morning sun and being able to go on a hike on a whim or drive out to the beach are my favorite things to do.
Meanwhile, living in the heart of downtown Chicago has been one of the best experiences I’ve had so far. Even though we’re currently in the middle of winter, it’s one of the most beautiful cities that I recommend everyone should visit at least once! I would say that I love the Midwestern personalities I encounter daily out here, followed by the beautiful, unique architecture of the buildings. There’s also always something to do out here and easy to access the various communities within the city because of the public transportation system! Yet, I think because of the fact I grew up in Los Angeles, the City of Angels will always be my home.
We personally would like to thank Angelica for taking the time to speak with us. We will be watching all her exciting endeavors as she continues to inspire others.. To follow Angelica on social media: