Jacquelin Cordero: Health is a Social Justice Issue

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CorderoJacquelin exito participant 2018
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Jacquelin Cordero grew up on the borderplex (Cd. Juárez, Chih., MX – El Paso, Texas, US).

As such, she’s very conscious of the impact of economic and societal differences and how it increases the disparities in her community.

Cordero views adequate, accessible, and available health services as a human right and social justice issue. With the support of her parents, encouragement from her sisters, and a little pinole to energize her, she wants to use public health to address important mental health issues such as suicide prevention and substance abuse.

Even after dropping out of high school, she has always found a way to keep going, and that includes currently working on her graduate certificate of public health and master’s degree in social work at the University of Texas at El Paso.

To further her experience and education, Cordero 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.

“The [Éxito!] summer institute allowed me to connect with others that had similar backgrounds and obstacles (cultural, gender, financial, etc.) and a similar interest of how health and culture can either mitigate or increase disparities; wanting to further our education despite not knowing many (or any) others that have obtained a doctoral degree,” said Cordero.

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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