Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2016 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program. Apply now for 2017 by March 6.

Rosie Salazar has a keepsake L.A. Dodgers apron that reminds her of her mother’s love for family and cooking—and her fight against breast cancer.

Even undergoing treatment for cancer, her mom tried hard to cook, clean, and remain strong.

Salazar took that lesson of strength and turned it into a positive life outlook and tries to always make people laugh and smile.

rosie salazar latino cancer research exitoNow she’s aiming to apply her attitude to solving health and obesity issues.

Salazar, who earned a bachelor’s degree in health science at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in 2006, worked in the emergency medical field for five years. Treating patients with chronic diseases inspired her to create health promotion programs, and she obtained her master’s degree in public health, too.

Salazar continues to develop and implement a Latino community health program called ActiVir.

To increase her training, 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. Éxito! is led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio, with support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

“The [Éxito!] program increased my interest in cancer health disparities rates and methods to combat issues,” Salazar said.

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