I am a healthy schools program coordinator at the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee. Here, my supervisor and mentor is Tatiana Maida, and I am supporting Latino families in modifying their eating and exercise to make healthy choices. Today, and since high school, I have thrived thanks to the mentorship I received, beginning with my mom.
I graduated from high school in Janesville, where the dropout rate was high for minority students. My mentor in high school was Jose Carrillo, who worked for the school district and was on the board of UMOS, helping improve the lives of migrant farmworkers. He pushed us to take harder courses that would count for college credit.
In 2013, I moved to Milwaukee to pursue a degree in biology at UW-Milwaukee. Halfway through I had to drop out because I couldn’t afford school. Still, I was determined to be involved at UWM. My search led to Raoul Deal’s mural project. Raoul took me under his wing. He allowed me to do research and mentor youth working on a mural to honor UMOS.
This support allowed me to return to school, and I stuck to my plan to graduate. I had the opportunity to join another research project, with public health professor Dr. Jenna Lloyd, interviewing social service agencies that work with immigrants and refugees.
Thanks to all the support from my mentors, I learned how to be one, and I’m using this skill to support health initiatives in our Milwaukee communities.