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Jennifer Villalobos – February 2015 Scholar of the Month

CHCI 2013 United Health Foundation Scholar

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

School: University of Colorado at Denver

Major: Public Health and Environmental Science

Placement: Office of Health Equity, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Jennifer Villalobos is a first-generation Hispanic student, the oldest of four siblings. She is the first person in her family to attend college. For that reason, her family is very proud of her accomplishments and they are proud of her being highlighted in the University of Colorado front cover page on January 2015.

Jennifer considers herself very fortunate and a hard-worker. She is very thankful for programs such as the TRiO Student Support Services and the CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar-Internship for helping her advance her goals of graduating with a dual degree in Public Health and Environmental Science. As a CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar, Jennifer completed her internship at the Office of Health Equity of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver, Colorado. Jennifer’s placement assignments provided diverse opportunities for her to observe, learn and participate in different internal and external settings. Jennifer also helped coordinate several community health outreach events. She is happy to note she had opportunities to utilize theories and concepts learned in school as well as learn new practical skills.

Reflecting back on her journey through college, Jennifer cannot wait for what lies ahead. Her experience as a first-generation Hispanic student has taught her to be resilient and also to learn from each experience and have fun along the way. After graduating in fall 2015, Jennifer wants to work in her field and eventually she hopes to earn a Masters in Epidemiology and Ph.D. in Social Epidemiology. With this knowledge base, Jennifer aspires to give back and help improve lives in her community and other underserved populations nationwide.

Overall, Jennifer will forever be grateful for all of the support and resources that have been given to her for her hard work and dedication. She is immensely thankful to CHCI and its pipeline opportunities. Thanks to CHCI, she also had the chance to bring a policy focus to her studies in epidemiology with her participation at CHCI’s Congressional Internship Program last fall 2014. She knows that without the unconditional help of this support system, one that also includes mentors, staff, and professors, she would not have experienced half of the journeys she has been blessed with, and for that, she expresses absolute gratitude.