2023-2024 Public Policy Fellows
CHCI Public Policy Fellow Presented by Raytheon
Hometown: Aurora, Colorado
School: University of Denver
Degree: B.S. in Biochemistry; B.S. in Public Policy
Placement: The Office of Congressman Raul Ruiz
Gabriela (she/her/ella) was born and raised in Aurora, CO. She is the proud daughter of Salvadoran immigrants and a first-generation college graduate. Throughout her childhood, she had examples of strong, hard-working, and brave women in her family who taught her the value of determination. They instilled in her the belief that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. At the young age of seven, Gabriela would help her family navigate the healthcare system by translating for them when her grandmother would become ill. Through that experience, she was able to see how hard it was for underserved populations to access health care in the U.S.
Driven by her aspiration to succeed and contribute to her family’s well-being, Gabriela decided to go to college. She pursued her education at the University of Denver, majoring in Biochemistry and Public Policy. During her undergraduate years, she engaged in Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative disease research at Knobel Institute of Healthy Aging, mentored other first-generation students, and was a part of both the Society of Hispanic Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers. Following graduation, Gabriela worked for the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization as a Resource Navigator helping the community access shelter, food, and health care, among other resources.
In the future, Gabriela hopes to get a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences so she can help Latine communities whose health is being impacted by the environments around them. As a CHCI Public Policy Fellow, Gabriela aspires to learn all that she can about health-based policy and the legislative process, and ultimately act as a bridge between science and public policy.