Why are you passionate about public health?
As a Mexican-American, I’ve seen firsthand the health concerns of an immigrant community. Studying public health will give me the skills I need to help those most vulnerable.
Why did you decide to pursue public health for your degree?
I’m from a rural community and my knowledge of bachelor’s degree options was limited. It wasn't until I took part in the UW’s Summer Health Professions Education Program that I learned the foundations of public health. When I transferred to the UW, I knew public health was for me.
Where were you before the UW?
I knew I wanted to attend the UW since high school but as a first-generation college student, it was difficult for me to leave home. I first attended Big Bend Community College in my hometown, which introduced me to how college works and helped me hone skills needed to excel in all my courses.
What are your professional goals?
I’ve always had a love for medicine and helping my community. My goal is to become a primary care physician and to return to my hometown to serve the Latinx community. Another professional goal is to be a good mentor to underrepresented minorities pursuing health professions.
What experiences at the UW have helped you on your path?
I’m a translator for the UW’s student-run Al-Shifa Clinic at Casa Latina. This experience has exposed me to the health concerns of Seattle’s Latinx community and I learned how to communicate more effectively with Spanish-speaking patients. As a physician, I want to be able to communicate with my patients in Spanish, so this work has been really important to me.
Tell us about your other extracurricular activities.
At the UW, I’m a student representative for the Health Sciences Service Learning & Advocacy Committee. At Big Bend, I was the public relations director for the Associated Student Body and was an active member of a student group called MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chinax de Aztlán or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán) and TRiO, a program designed to help students find success in college.
What's one piece of advice you have for prospective students?
Get involved in extracurricular activities and apply for summer internships. This is a good way to figure out what your passions are.