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Natalie Alfaro-Perez wasn’t spoiled growing up.
In fact, her parents already had her mowing the lawn at age 8, among other chores. This instilled in her a hard-working attitude and created in her a determination to achieve success.
She has put those values to work as a public health student and health educator in a federally qualified health center, and she’s pushing for more progress as a health equity advocate.
Alfaro-Perez received her bachelor’s degree in health science from California State University Sacramento, and is currently working on her master’s degree in public health from California State University, Northridge. In her work as a health educator, she is able to provide education to patients regarding chronic illnesses, and weight management.
To further her experience and education, Alfaro-Perez 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.
“I loved the [Éxito!] summer institute,” Alfaro-Perez said. “Such an informative training filled with intelligent people.”
“[Éxito!] provided the knowledge of the steps I need to take to pursue a PhD and confidence to take those steps. Also provided a great network of people.”
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.