Maria 'Paloma' Valencia
CHCI-United Health Foundation Intern
Hometown: Grand Junction, Colorado
School: Colorado Mesa State College
Placement: The Office of Sen. Michael Bennet
Paloma Valencia is a Mexican-American immigrant from Grand Junction, Colorado. She was raised by a single mother and was the oldest of five children. Paloma learned the value of hard work, dedication and the importance of school at a young age.
Paloma graduated from the International Baccalaureate Programme at Palisade High School and is currently working towards a bachelor of science in nursing from Colorado Mesa University. She hopes to become the first member in her family to graduate from college. Inspired by her mother, Paloma began advocating for immigrant rights at a young age. She is part of the Hispanic Affairs Project, an organization that works to provide leadership development, community organizing, and the provision of key services for immigrant integration within Western Colorado. She hopes to become a healthcare professional to decrease health care disparities for Hispanic immigrant patients within her community.
As a CHCI Intern, Paloma hopes to learn about the complexities of health care in legislation. Paloma hopes to apply the vast knowledge and skills attained through her internship with CHCI to her nursing career in order to propagate positive change within her community.