Filiberto Leon: Helping Latinos toward Healthier Lifestyles


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Following in the footsteps of his selfless parents, Filiberto Leon is always there with advice or help whenever you need him.

He wants to help so badly, in fact, he’s seeking a master’s degree is to help more people.

Leon, originally born in Mexico, came to the United States when he was 1 year old. He worked hard and became not only the first in his family to attend college, but also the first to get a degree when he earned his bachelor’s degree in health at UT San Antonio (UTSA) in Health May 2016. He then applied to the graduate school at UTSA, got accepted, and started in fall 2017.

Leon, who loves playing basketball, soccer, tennis, and anything outdoors, wants to create an environment where physical activity is part of the Latino culture. He wants to reduce the Latino burden of obesity, diabetes, and disease.

To further his training and education, Leon applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. The 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 to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer.

“[Éxito! summer institute] taught me how to take the steps in to getting a doctoral degree,” Leon said. “It taught me how to financially cover all of the expenses, which was my biggest worry.”

Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2017 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now for 2018.

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