Taking a cue from her energetic, hard-working, El Salvadoran mother, Jaquelin Flores is determined to reduce health inequities that grip the young Latino population.
For instance, as she studies for her master’s degree at California State University, Long Beach, she also works as a clinical research coordinator. She leads research projects that focus on psychosocial factors and innovative clinical care models with adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes.
Flores has a strong desire to shine a light on how different cultural backgrounds influence health behaviors and manifest in different health outcomes.
To further her experience and education, Flores applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program.
The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals each year for a five-day summer institute, optional internships, and ongoing networking and support to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer. A recent study found significant increases in summer institute participants’ confidence to apply to a doctoral program and academic self-efficacy.
“[Éxito!] made me realize how valuable and important we are in the research world,” Flores said. “There are not many of us and having guidance in pursuing a doctoral degree is essential in this point in our lives.”
Flores hopes to investigate the social determinants of health that Latinx populations encounter in the healthcare system.
“The [Éxito! Summer Institute] program has provided me with the necessary resources to apply to programs and to consider other important factors (e.g., population and faculty),” Flores added. “Additionally, the timeline and program fit guidelines are very useful.”
For those considering applying for Éxito! next year, Flores has this advice:
“Brace yourself. Your life is about to change!”