Sara Rubio Correa

When Sara Rubio Correa’s family immigrated to the United States from Queretaro, Mexico, when she was 5 years old, they faced strenuous jobs and little healthcare.

Then they were deported back to Mexico.

At age 16, Rubio Correa returned to the United States and began living on her own, driven by a resilient nature to overcome the hurdles of her childhood and become a doctor. Her experiences shaped her passion for improving the health of Latinx immigrants.

Rubio Correa, currently working on her master’s degree of public health in health behavior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, wants to focus her career on using research to address cancer and heart health, engaging community workers for Latinos, and spurring policy changes and shaping equitable environments for health for all people.

To further her experience and education, Rubio Correa applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program.

The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals each year for a five-day summer institute, optional internships, and ongoing networking and support to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer. A recent study found significant increases in summer institute participants’ confidence to apply to a doctoral program and academic self-efficacy.

Éxito! has instilled in me the self-confidence I needed to continue pursuing my goals and has motivated me to be confident in myself and in my abilities. It picked me up when I felt like I was falling down,” Rubio Correa said.

“Being a part of this program has literally changed my life, my career, my mentality, my motivation, my personality, my attitude, and my goals.”