Rosalie Aguilar grew up along the Texas-Mexico border and volunteered her time working in migrant worker clinics, an experience that spawned her interest in public and world health issues.
She dreamt of finding a way to help many people.
Originally this dream led Aguilar to envision a career in the medical field, but she soon discovered the abundance of possibilities that exist in public health, and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in health and Kinesiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio—all with the encouragement of her family, friends and mentors.
While working as a graduate research assistant, her dream was further sharpened as she discovered that conducting research could be exciting and fulfilling.
Aguilar joined Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training—which aims to increase diversity in Latino health disparities and cancer research by encouraging Latino master’s-level students and master’s trained health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a career in research—on the advice of her mentor.
At the Éxito! Summer Institute in June 2011, she realized that a career in cancer research is something she “could be successful at and truly enjoy.”
Éxito! helped me realize that there are many resources which exist to study cancer,” she said. “I also enjoyed the camaraderie that was developed between my peers and I. It was encouraging to share ideas and thoughts with other individuals such as myself.”