Growing up, Marina Daldalian’s mother, the daughter of a migrant worker, and her father, a native of Lebanon, taught her the importance of education and about caring for those with few resources.
As she volunteered locally and abroad for several years, a focus on health became Daldalian’s calling.
In Kansas City, Kan., Daldalian is a master’s of public health degree student at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also serves as a research assistant in the JUNTOS center for Advancing Latino Health in the Department of Preventative Medicine.
Marina heard about Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training from a mentor, who encouraged her to apply.
She decided to apply to Éxito!—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—because she felt it was a “unique opportunity to learn more about research, career choices and higher education from the perspectives of successful Latinos.”
“I was very interested in health disparities before attending Éxito!, but the program taught me how important it is that Latinos pursue careers in the field,” Daldalian said. “Éxito! gave me a deep appreciation for the unique point of view and contributions that can only really be made by people who innately understand Latino culture, and now I feel a deep interest and responsibility to pursue a career in health disparities.”