Robla School District Gets Hydration Stations & Healthy Walking Program!

After United Way's Young Leaders Society, the Robla School District and the Health Education Council helped raise over $25,000 dollars to provide hydration stations at each school in the Robla School District (54% Latino), the district went a step further for health, literally. How? In the fall of 2015, after the Health Education Council met with students in their classrooms educating them on sugary beverages, the council also met with a small parent group at Taylor Street Elementary School to teach them about how to "Rethink Your Drink", educating parents on how much sugar is in the average soda, juices, and teas. Parents learned so much from the workshop that they wanted to know what else they could learn about. This conversation led to weekly nutrition workshops provided by ...

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Angelika Gutierrez: Helping Solve Puerto Rican Health Disparities

Angelika Gutierrez

When she needed more money to support her own private-school education, Angelika Gutierrez became the youngest teller at a New Jersey bank at age 16. That’s how hard Gutierrez will work to achieve her goals. Now, buoyed by her resilient upbringing by her abuelita (grandma), the Ecuadorian-Puerto Rican went on to become a first-generation college graduate and now is a master-degree public health student at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. Gutierrez has a passion for studying the U.S.-Puerto Rico relationship’s effect on Puerto Rican health disparities, and strengthening the health systems in Latin America. That’s why she applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals ...

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One Surefire Way to Increase Latino Participation in Solving Cancer

The 2014 Éxito! program graduates

Jose Ramos never gives up. He learned how to persevere from his mother, who survived breast cancer. So, after becoming the first in his family to graduate high school and college, Ramos is aiming high for an MD/PhD. He is currently studying global disease as a master’s student at Columbia University. He has an internship with the Brazilian Health Association to work on community-based cancer and disease research. Last year, he took another big step—he applied for Éxito!. Today Ramos is among two-dozen 2016 grads of the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which annually recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals for a five-day summer institute and internship opportunities to encourage pursuit of doctoral degrees and careers studying ...

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Rosie Salazar: Making People Smile (and Improving Their Health)

Rosie Salazar

Rosie Salazar has a keepsake L.A. Dodgers apron that reminds her of her mother’s love for family and cooking—and her fight against breast cancer. Even undergoing treatment for cancer, her mom tried hard to cook, clean, and remain strong. Salazar took that lesson of strength and turned it into a positive life outlook and tries to always make people laugh and smile. Now she’s aiming to apply her attitude to solving health and obesity issues. Salazar, who earned a bachelor’s degree in health science at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 2006, worked in the emergency medical field for five years. Treating patients with chronic diseases inspired her to create health promotion programs, and she obtained her master’s degree in public health, too. Salazar ...

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San Francisco Announces Free Community College for Residents

Achieving a quality education is one of the key, fundamental social determiners of health. People with higher education levels have better long-term health. More and more Latinos are enrolling in college. One city in the U.S. is looking to make access to higher education even more available than ever. Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco (15.3% Latino population) recently announced that the city would make college education free “to all its residents” through the City College of San Francisco. The plan will go into effect in 2018 and was made possible due to a tax on properties sold for at least $5 million. “To California residents who are living in San Francisco, your community college is now free,” Mayor Ed Lee said in an interview with USA Today. In order to ...

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Guam Gets Fit with Fit Fridays

On February third, the Ordot -Chalan Pago Elementary School (OCPES) kicked off the school-wide event for a SNAP-Ed program called "Fit Fridays" to encourage students to have at least one hour of regular physical activity every day. Health champions that helped lead the event were Principal of OCPES, Tricia Moylan and School Nurse, Leah Landstrom. Ordot-Chalan Pago is a pilot village for the program, where schools signed on back in December of 2016, to help roll out many Fit Fridays and become leaders and champions with the 5-2-1-Almost None pledge with SNAP-ED. The campaign for the 5-2-1-Almost None is supported by a partnership between the UOG college of Natural and Applied Sciences and the Department of Public Health and Social Services through SNAP-Ed. To learn more about ...

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Jacklyn Samano: Persistence Pays Off

Jacklyn Samano

Growing up, Jacklyn Samano’s mother insisted that she practice her Spanish and made her write things over and over until she got it right. That lesson of persistence is paying off for Samano. Samano, who dreams of one day leading her own public health research center and discovering ways to incorporate a better quality of care to help Latino families lead healthier lives, already has made great strides toward her goal. The Los Angeles native earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2013. She spent her undergraduate years working with teams like Chicanos for Community Medicine, UCLA Pediatric Neurology, and Senior Smiles. Now, as a master’s student in public health at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, ...

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Preschool Programs Help Latino Kids Outperform their Classmates in Third Grade

Latino Health Early Education

Low-income Latino kids who attended early education programs at age 4 did better in third grade than other public school children, according to a study conducted using data from the Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP). Unfortunately, fewer Latino children are enrolled in early education programs than non-Latino children. Researchers looked at data from 11,902 low-income Latino children in Miami (66.8% Latino) to assess children's performance on state standardized tests of math and reading as well as children's grade point average (GPA) in third grade. "We found that those children who took part in public school prekindergarten programs started kindergarten with stronger academic skills, more optimal social-behavior skills, and English-language proficiency," Arya Ansari, a ...

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Noemi Fernandez: Seeking Social Justice for Minorities

Noemi Fernandez

Why do social injustices occur? Noemi Fernandez, who is interested in tackling the reasons for social justice issues, desires to improve health and empower the Latino community. Fernandez is a first-generation Mexican-American bilingual student. She grew up in a predominantly low-income Latino community. With the guidance and support of her older sister and parents who taught her pride in their Latino culture, she gained experience in social work and started working on mental health issues, particularly sexual trauma, among minority groups. She earned her MSW, too. Fernandez also applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals for a five-day Summer Institute to promote doctoral degrees ...

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