Kendra Cruz

Listening to community needs is critical to solving health disparities.
Kendra Cruz embodies this goal, as she has displayed a willingness to listen intently and a passion for addressing any identified health concerns in the community.
Cruz is already working on studies on smoking cessation and HPV, and she’s interested in working with rural Latinos to learn their needs and identify ways to best provide resources. Her desire to listen and respond to people’s health needs is just as beautiful, if not more so, than the amazing traditional dresses she keeps from her native Oaxaca, Mexico.
Cruz came to the states at age 8 without speaking any English, but was fortunate to learn the language in a school year. At 14, she returned to Mexico to be closer to her family, but at 17 decided to pursue an education in the United States.
She earned a degree in genetics and is working on her master’s degree in public health.
Cruz works as a research assistant for a center in advancing Latino Health focusing on smoking cessation interventions and is excited to furthering her career in research.  
That’s why she applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program, which recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals for a five-day Summer Institute to promote doctoral degrees and careers studying Latino cancer.
“The [Éxito!] Summer institute has helped me feel that I am not alone,” Cruz said. “We are all struggling through different hardships but as long as we do not give up, we can achieve our goals.”