Liliana Martinez: Determined to Improve Latino Health


MartinezLiliana Exito 2018 participant

Determination is what Liliana Martinez is all about. She found a model for determination in her brother who, despite spending time incarcerated, went back to school and became a successful teacher. Martinez proved her own determination when, as a native of Mexico who immigrated with her family to the United States at age 6, she worked with undocumented students to pursue passage of the DREAM Act and mentored high school students to pursue higher education. And, perhaps most impressively, she will be passing her determination on to the next generation, too, as she is resolute in wanting to teach her first child the indigenous Nahuatl language spoken by her Mexican grandmother. Martinez is a current graduate student in the master’s degree of public health program at the ...

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Cynthia Cervantes: Community Health Education for Latinos


CervantesCynthia exito participant 2018

Just like the beautiful handmade Mexican huipil shirt she proudly wore during her undergrad years at UCLA, Cynthia Cervantes has become the embodiment of resilience. Cervantes is a first-generation student currently working on her master’s degree of public health with an emphasis on community health education. She’s gained valuable experiences through working as a health advocate for an HIV risk reduction program and as a research coordinator for a stroke study. She also has participating in grassroots efforts that showed her the differences Latino communities face to access care. To further her experience and education, Cervantes applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San ...

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How a Children’s Museum Morphed into a Latino Community Hub



Steve Long knows the mission of the Children's Museum of the East End is to spark imagination, play, and learning for all children in Bridgehampton, N.Y. (21% Latino). But the museum has risen to a new level under Long's leadership as executive director. It has become a Latino community hub. Long and the museum leaders host an afterschool science program for Spanish-speaking students. They partnered to host "safe space" workshops for Latino immigrants. They helped start an eight-week music program to enhance Spanish-speakers' literacy skills. They even added a mini-golf course with science-based facts in English and Spanish. "[The museum] is having a lifelong impact on the development of Latino children and their families through these programs," Long said. The ...

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Sebastian Garcia-Medina: Pursuing Higher Education


GarciaMSebastian Exito 2018 participant

If something doesn’t work, Sebastian Garcia-Medina finds an alternative way to make it work. In Wisconsin, as a first-generation immigrant, Garcia-Medina found his passion in the medical sciences and aiding the underserved populations. After taking a year to work at the Mayo Clinic, Garcia-Medina is now continuing his path toward medicine and science by pursuing a master’s degree in Cleveland, Ohio. To further his experience and education, Garcia-Medina 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 ...

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Pamela Sanchez: Improving Women’s Health


Sanchez Pamela Exito 2018 participant

When she feels lost, Pamela Sanchez can turn to her supportive sister or the doll her Chilean grandmother gave her. Fortunately, Sanchez is already finding her own path and making great progress toward her goal of improving women’s health. Sanchez is entering her second year in the master’s degree of public health program in epidemiology at the University of Florida. Sanchez, born in Miami but maintaining dual citizenship from the United States and Chile, is a first-generation American and the first in her family to seek her master’s degree. Sanchez is currently working on a research project with Dr. Ting-Yuan Cheng, an epidemiology professor at the University of Florida. The project investigates the mTOR pathway activity and its association with breast cancer ...

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CDC Launches Hashtag Campaign for School Health


Children playing with skipping rope in elementary school health

This week, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention launched their social media campaign for healthy schools, #CDCHealthySchools. The CDC’s Healthy Schools social media campaign aims "to increase awareness of the impact school health programs have in schools and school districts across the United States," said Holly Hunt, Chief of School Health at the CDC, in a letter sent to Salud America!. Healthy Schools Social Media Campaign The campaign encourages participants to answer the question, “What does a healthy school look like to you?” and use the hashtag #CDCHealthySchools to answer the question on any or all of your social media channels. Try posting a video, photo, graphic, or text. The campaign runs through Feb. 28, 2019. As part of the campaign, the CDC also ...

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Schools Must Integrate Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning


Social emotional learning

Schools should reshape their environment to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning, according to a new report from the Aspen Institute. In schools with little focus on social and emotional learning, students of color or those who have experienced poverty and other childhood trauma may fall behind in typical measures like grades, attendance, and graduation. They aren’t prepared for success in adulthood. The new report explores the science of learning and makes the case for integrating—rather than separating—students’ social, emotional, and academic development. This would benefit all kids, especially Latinos and others at-risk, for the future of our nation. “Educating the whole student requires rethinking teaching and learning so that academics ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 2/5: Helping Kids Have Healthier Childhoods!


young hispanic latino kids playing clay classroom

“Children are our future.” You’ve heard this old saying before, but it’s never been truer. Childhood experiences set the physical, psychological, and social foundation as a child grows into adulthood. But Latinos and other communities lack support to meet children’s needs in opportunities for good health, education, and more, jeopardizing our nation’s future. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, to share innovative strategies and solutions to help Latino and all children have healthier childhoods and brighter futures: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: "From Birth to Graduation: Helping Kids Have Healthier Childhoods and Brighter Futures" TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: ...

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Keylynne Matos-Cunningham: Speaking Up for Health Justice


Cunningham Keylynne exito participant 2018

Keylynne Matos-Cunningham is a force to be reckoned with. The eldest of three younger siblings and a blend of Northern, Southern, African-American and Puerto Rican cultures, Matos-Cunningham stands up and speaks out against injustices experienced by underrepresented minorities. Matos-Cunningham graduated with her master’s degree of public health from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU). Her research interests are mental health, minority health, sexual health and social determinants of health. She works full-time in substance abuse prevention and is an adjunct health instructor at ECU. There are many things that move her and drive her closer to her purpose. She believes that being a servant of the community is how to best understand the world. To ...

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