What is your favorite public health experience and why?
“My favorite public health experience was working on a mental health community needs assessment for the coastal community of San Mateo County. During this experience I was able to co-design a program with community members, particularly Latinx residents. Working with a Spanish-speaking team we were able to conduct focus groups and key stakeholder interviews that included over 200 residents. The project brought together my love of art, dance and mental health promotion.”
What is your proudest public health moment and why?
“My proudest moments are always those where I can use Spanish to connect with community members. I grew up in AZ in a time where bilingual education was not accessible and speaking Spanish as a first language was looked down upon. Now, I am able to use this gift that my parents carefully guarded to enrich my work, show up for the community, and create genuine connections.”
Why do you care about public health?
“I care about public health equity because I am a person with lived experience, that has lived through the impact of racism, and structural inequities. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly difficult time for many of us, yet it has also shown us the strength of community power, the importance of connection and care, and the resilience of our families. This moment begs us to continue to center equity because it is the only way forward.”