Vanessa Torres

Vanessa Torres

Vanessa Torres, strengthened by her faith and encouraged by her parents whose roots are from Jalisco, Mexico, symbolizes the iconic Mexican song, Jalisco No Te Rajes (English: Jalisco Don’t Give Up).

She understood and overcame the many economic and other barriers Latinos face and became a first-generation college graduate, earning a bachelor’s of science degree in environmental economics & policy and Spanish literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

But she isn’t stopping there.

Currently a master’s-degree student in health promotion and behavioral science at San Diego State University, Torres is dedicated to helping Latinos and works on projects promoting physical activity, walkability, and access to healthy foods.

In considering ways to do even more, Torres thought about additional education.

To gain skills to overcome any barriers to future education, Torres sought direction from 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.

Through the information and networks gained by attending the Éxito! Summer Institute, Torres gained resources to bolster her never-give-up attitude: Adelante, no te rajes (English: Onward, don’t give up).