Alejandra Ochoa: Chocolate, French, and Public Health


OchoaAlejandra Exito 2018 participant
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A writer once said: “Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.”

That is spot-on for Alejandra Ochoa.

Because, just as chocolate fits well in any recipe, Ochoa is adaptable and driven to help people get healthy.

Ochoa, who was born in Mexico City and immigrated to Phoenix at age 6, earned her bachelor’s degree in French with a minor in public health at the University of Arizona in 2014. She moved to Normandy, France, to participate in a teaching assistant program.

She moved to Tucson, Ariz., to pursue a master’s degree in public health in 2017.

Ochoa is continually learning and already is helping our youngest population as an injury prevention specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

To further her experience and education, Ochoa applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program.

The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals each year for a five-day summer institute and optional internships to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer. A recent study found significant increases in summer institute participants’ confidence to apply to a doctoral program and academic self-efficacy.

“[The Éxito!  summer institute] brought me back to the idea of getting the PhD and it provided tools to actually help me get started,” Ochoa said.

Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2018 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at UT Health San Antonio, the headquarters of the Salud America! program. Apply now for Èxito! 2019.

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