Mariana Ramirez’ has a strong passion for helping improve the lives of Latino immigrants and youth.
Ramirez, who is originally from Mexico and fluent in English and Spanish, has worked to raise awareness of breast cancer among Latinos in Kansas City, Missouri. She also serves in a leadership position with the “Latinos of Tomorrow” youth development and service learning program led by nonprofit group the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative.
Currently working on her master’s degree in social work at the University of Missouri Kansas City, Ramirez’ curiosity to learn more about cancer research from research experts and other students led her to apply for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which offers a five-day summer institute and internships to encourage master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.
Ramirez said she felt that Éxito! reinforced her passion and helped her “belong to a new family.”
“I was able to meet wonderful people from across the U.S. and learn about their various research projects. In such a short time we were able to form strong connections and now count on each other as a valuable resource in our careers,” she said. “In addition, listening to the trajectories of successful Latino PhDs conducting research in cancer disparities was extremely motivating to further my education. I am very thankful to the Éxito! team for such a great opportunity.”