Native San Antonio resident Jenny Castillo not only cares about helping Latinos get off the couch and get fit to beat disease, she also knows the value of incorporating culturally infused methods of physical activity.
For example, her passion for flamenco and folklorico dance represent an exciting way to bring Latino families together to get active.
Castillo plans to put her passion for dance and her knowledge of Mexican American culture to good use as she pursues a master’s degree in health and kinesiology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She expects to graduate in 2013.
She also works as a graduate research assistant on a study to prevent obesity and diabetes among low-income Latinas and an obesity intervention in Latina youth.
Castillo, who also has degrees in government and communications (with a specialty in political communications) from The University of Texas at Austin, was encouraged by a mentor to apply for Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training, which aims to increase research in Latino cancer disparities by encouraging master’s-level students and health professionals to pursue a doctoral degree and a cancer research career.
Once accepted into the program, she learned from respected public health researchers and faculty that there are resources available and many different avenues that can lead to doctoral degree and a career in Latino cancer health disparities research.
“Éxito!provided me confidence and tools to apply and be successful in a doctorate program,” Castillo said.