2023-2024 CHCI Postgraduate Fellows
CHCI Health Postgraduate Fellow Presented by DaVita
Hometown: Bassett, California
School: San Diego State University
Degree: Master of Public Health
Placement: The Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Gabriela (she/her) was born and raised in Bassett, California. She is immensely proud of her cultural ties to the Mexican states of Morelos and Guerrero. Gabriela grew up in an unincorporated community overburdened by freeway and industrial pollution. Gang violence, the looming threat of parental deportation, and food insecurity marked her early life. Her desire to bring change to her community through policy was reinforced as she pursued higher education where she began to realize that these adverse experiences could be traced back to a legacy of environmental and health injustice within her communities. Her life circumstances forged a fervent desire to contribute to policies that expand equitable access to health services and environmental protection. She knew she wanted to play a role in advocating for health-promoting infrastructure alongside improvements to the United States healthcare delivery system.
Gabriela graduated from the University of California, Irvine, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Policy. She recently obtained a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Management and Policy at San Diego State University (SDSU). Gabriela is a recipient of the Green for All Scholarship and the SDSU Graduate Equity Scholarship. While at San Diego State, she interned at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality branch. She assisted with generating and submitting over 300 imposition notices to nursing facilities. In addition, she developed recommendations for improving safety and clinical quality standards. Most recently, she worked for the City of San Diego, where she led the efforts to design and write content for the Office of Child and Youth Success’s newsletters intended to raise awareness for youth programming. She also developed various marketing materials and was involved in community engagement efforts for the City of San Diego’s inaugural Organic Waste Recycling Program. During her free time, Gabriela volunteers with local organizations dedicated to promoting health and well-being for residents of San Gabriel Valley communities.
As the CHCI Health Postgraduate Fellow, Gabriela looks forward to gaining a better insight into the legislative process to ensure that future policies address systemic environmental, social, and health access issues. She wants to learn more about how activism and grassroots organizing can impact the legislative process, hoping to bring this information back to empower her communities and boost civic participation. She looks forward to networking, opportunities for mentorship, and leadership development.