CHCI-PepsiCo Foundation Health Public Policy Fellow
Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas
School: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Degree: B.A. Health Science
Placement 1: Office of Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D.
Placement 2:Administration on Children and Families
As a first-generation college student, Jessica graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a B.A. in health science and a minor in political science. Immigrants from El Salvador, her parents instilled in her a passion for hard work, community service, and diversity.
Jessica is interested in the intersection of public health and policy implications for community-based organizations. She is also passionate about empowering communities through education and civic engagement. Jessica’s interest in promoting public health and civil liberties among Latinos has fueled her academic and research interests, particularly in evaluating how public health organizations engage with their Latino constituency. In addition, she has served as an instructor and counselor for the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s K-12 Initiative, promoting academic enrichment among inner-city students from Kansas City. Jessica later interned with the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Clinic at the University of Kansas School of Law, where she experienced the inner workings of the MLP response in the integration of healthcare, public health, and civil legal aid to treat and prevent health-harming legal needs for communities.
Jessica is also interested in promoting digital literacy, having participated in a corporate community leadership program, which allowed her to empower Kansas City’s diverse population by connecting individuals and organizations to local libraries and other resources.
As a CHCI Public Policy Fellow, Jessica looks forward to learning more about the policy-making process and its impact on health policy and community empowerment. She also hopes to continue developing as a leader and learn how to promote civic engagement and accessibility of education across diverse communities.