Cynthia Cervantes: Community Health Education for Latinos

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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 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.

Cervantes said the Éxito! summer institute provided “another means of support and guidance” in her efforts to promote Latino health.

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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By The Numbers By The Numbers

28

percent

of Latino kids suffer four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACES).

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