Melawhy Garcia: Éxito! Connected Me to Other Latino Professionals


melawhy garcia exito latino cancer research leadership training

Dr. Melawhy Garcia wanted to elevate her work to improve health among Latinos in California by applying for PhD programs, but she wasn’t sure about it. She wanted to hear from experienced faculty and scholars about what the process would be like. That’s why she attended the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio. “I actually knew some of the faculty presenting at [Éxito!], so I definitely wanted to hear from them and see what their journey was like going through a PhD program,” Garcia said. Éxito! helped Garcia apply to PhD programs and get accepted to a joint Doctoral Program in Public Health from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Now, Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of ...

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Inside the U.S. Government’s New Investment in Latino Education


Inside Investment Latino Education

Education is critical in childhood development, yet Latino kids across the U.S. face systemic injustices in their schools and communities. Whether it is living in child care deserts, language issues and immigrant status, unengaged parents, childhood trauma, discipline, segregated school districts, and a lack of state funding in—many Latinos are left behind in education compared to their white peers. That’s why the U.S. government is taking action for Latino education, according to a recent executive order signed by President Joe Biden in September 2021. “We must enable Hispanic and Latino students to reach their highest potential through our Nation’s schools and institutions of higher education,” the executive order says. “The Federal Government must also collaborate ...

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Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia


Natalicio Serrano: What Éxito! Taught Me About Latino Representation in Academia

Natalicio Serrano wasn’t sure he wanted to get a PhD. He knew the journey would be difficult, especially as a Latino going into a field with little representation. However, the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio changed that. “For me, Éxito! painted a clearer picture of what I could do with a PhD. It gave me the energy to want to apply and continue on with this academic journey,” Serrano said. Participating in Éxito! motivated Serrano to apply and get accepted to a PhD program in Public Health with the Prevention Research Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Serrano is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Education and Career Development program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on ...

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Ellen Ochoa: The First Latina Astronaut to Go into Space


Ellen Ochoa NASA Latino Astronaut

In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Latino person in space. She logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit across four space missions, studying the Earth's ozone layer. She would later become the NASA Johnson Space Center’s first Latina director and only its second female director. "At the time, it was really a personal thing," Ochoa told TODAY. "It was something I was very excited to participate in, and I loved working with the team and with my crew and doing work that was important to understanding changes in the atmosphere." "I realized the mission had repercussions well beyond that. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of student groups, I was featured in children's books, textbooks – I'm just really grateful there was this whole extra dimension to that flight beyond the ...

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Report: Latino College Students Less Likely to Seek Mental Health Services


Latino College Mental Health Services

Many Latino youth face declining mental health amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, a racial/ethnic social justice movement, and economic hardships. Sadly, many aren’t getting the help they need, either. About 65% of Latino college students have mental health issues that go untreated, as they are less likely than their white peers to engage with campus mental health services, according to a new study from researchers at University of California, Riverside. “This means counselors can identify a culturally sensitive, value-driven approach to encouraging greater participation in campus mental health services, instead of focusing only on students’ ethnicity in their outreach efforts” said study senior author Kalina Michalska. “Given the increasing diversity among U.S. ...

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Ángela Gutiérrez: What Éxito! Means to Me, a Latina PhD and Researcher


Ángela Gutiérrez: What Éxito! Means to Me, a Latina PhD and Researcher

Dr. Ángela Gutiérrez has always been passionate about health disparities research. “I had previously worked on health disparities research focusing on diabetes, fibromyalgia among Latinx communities, and I've done a lot of community-based research,” Gutiérrez said. So when the opportunity arose to apply to Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training at UT Health San Antonio, Gutiérrez was thrilled to learn more. “It was through Éxito! that I realized the prevalence and importance of focusing on cancer disparities as well, not just focusing on diabetes and fibromyalgia,” Gutiérrez said. Participating in Éxito! helped Gutiérrez apply and get accepted to a PhD program in Community Health Sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health of the University of ...

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5 Unique Ways to Improve K-12 Education for Latino Students


Improve K-12 Education Latino Students

Early education can make a huge impact on the lives of children — especially its effects on economic opportunities, college prep, and finding a good-paying job. Yet it is far too common for Latinos and other disadvantaged students to face barriers for quality K-12 education. That’s why The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit policy organization, recently published five policy recommendations that can make a huge difference in the education of Latino students. “Latino students in particular constitute a significant and growing portion of the U.S. student population yet are often overlooked in education literature because they are not the lowest performing demographic,” the report states. “We considered factors that may’ve influenced student performance, including both ...

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Award Finalist: Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training


Exito Latino Cancer Collage

For the third time, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez's Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at UT Health San Antonio has been named a finalist for Excelencia in Education's "Examples of Excelencia." The awards spotlight evidence-based programs that support Latino students in higher education. Éxito! was also a finalist in 2018 and 2019. The winning “Examples of Excelencia” in four categories—associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organizations—will be announced virtually at Excelencia in Education’s annual Celebracion de Excelencia on Oct. 28. 2021. Excelencia in Education is a national group that promotes Latinos in higher education. Éxito! recruits 25 Latino students and health professionals annually for a culturally tailored ...

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The Latino Gap in STEM Jobs and How to Fix It



As a result of COVID-19 and systemic injustice, Latinos are not faring well in the job market. Worse, Latinos are experiencing the widest gap in one of the nation’s fastest-growing fields — a career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The depth of the gap could consign Latinos to lower-paying jobs, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center. “Black and Latino workers remain underrepresented in the STEM workforce compared with their share of all workers, including in computing jobs, which have seen considerable growth in recent years,” the Pew researchers state. What Is the Latino Gap in STEM Jobs? Latinos make up 17% of the overall workforce in the U.S. However, they only make up 8% of those employed in STEM fields. STEM jobs are ...

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