Monica Aguilar

Monica Aguilar

With a Belizean mother who always cared for others, offered support, and excelled in a health profession, Monica Aguilar was motivated to blaze her own trail to improve the lives of others.

Aguilar got her start in health with a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in health science.

Today she gone on to serve as a community health educator, research assistant, and data manager for health education and health promotion projects, and now she is pursuing a master’s in public health degree at California State University Long Beach.

Aguilar applied 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—to increase her expertise in health disparities research.

She felt the program would be a first step in transitioning from a master’s program to a doctoral program.

Indeed, adding to the plethora of personal public health experience she already had, Aguilar said the tools and information provided throughout the Éxito! Summer Institute enhanced her resources and answered some of her questions about applying to a doctoral program.

“The [Éxito!] Summer Institute is a great program that has provided me with the tools and motivation to pursue a doctorate in public health,” Aguilar said.