The Center for Community Health Equity is excited to be working with Chicago Scholars to engage young adults in the planning and direction of the health equity work of the Center.

Read first-hand health equity experiences written by our Youth Advisory Board members.

Academic Year 2019-2020

Valerie Alvanez

School: Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep.  I will be majoring in biological sciences and pre-medical sciences in order to pursue a career as a physician later on in life.  Serving as a volunteer and intern at La Rabida Children’s Hospital and Norwegian American Hospital, I find that the topic of health disparities has come up frequently.  I aspire to one day be able to provide pro-bono medical assistance to marginalized communities because proper health care should be a right, not a privilege.

Eryk Brown

School: George Westinghouse College Prep
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

My name is Eryk Brown and I attend George Westinghouse College Prep.  I am currently a senior and plan on majoring in nursing for my undergraduate work.  I have a very strong passion about creating equal healthcare and for all people no matter the race, gender, social status, or other defining characteristics.  I love my community and will do whatever it takes to make it as equivalent as the downtown area or suburban areas.

Cristian Carpio

School: Walter Payton College Prep
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior at Walter Payton College Prep.  I am interested in pursuing a medical career.  Aside from some exposure to basic science, I am interest in the clinical side of medicine and understanding the ways equity can be implemented in our communities.

Samiyyah Hardison

School: Kenwood Academy
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am currently a senior at Kenwood Academy High School, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood.  I have the aspiration of becoming a surgeon while conducting research centered on identifying the gene mutations that makes people susceptible to diseases such as cancer.  In addition, I want to be an advocate for health equity for those who do not receive adequate health care.  My planned main focus is neurology, cardiology, and oncology.

Christeena JojoChristeena Jojo

School: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Grade: Sophomore
Organization: Chicago Scholars

My name is Christeena Jojo and I am a sophomore at UW-Madison. I am studying Health Promotion and Health Equity (HPHE) and Psychology with a certificate in Global Health. Serving as a volunteer, I grew interested in becoming a physician and I hope to reduce the gap of health inequities within the communities through advocacy and policy.

Daniela Luna

School: Acero Garcia High School
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

My name is Daniela Luna.  I am currently in the Class of 2020 at Acero Garcia High School.  My goal is to become a nurse in one of Chicago’s hospitals.  What I would like to get out of this program is to enhance the lives of many minorities in terms of the health community because, being a nurse, you are exposed to different people.  So, I want to get to know more about different people’s backgrounds.

Ashley Mecollari

School: DePaul University
Grade: Sophomore
Organization: Chicago Scholars Alumni

I am a current sophomore at DePaul University studying business administration with a minor in public health.  I was born and raised in Chicago so I am well aware of the unjust divisions in communities across the City.  Health care is a subject I am very passionate about and this program will allow me to combine my background knowledge in available resources to hopefully implement solutions in lower-income communities exposed to health inequities to ensure the greater well-being of all community residents.  I hope to utilize the experiences I accumulated thus far to implement new health care centers in lower income communities for preventative purposes.

Jocelyn Miranda

School: Solorio Academy High School
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior at Solorio Academy High School on the southwest side of Chicago.  My family immigrated from Mexico.  I aspire to have a career in the medical field.  Although I do not know what I want to focus on in terms of a career, I know that I want to work in health equity and/or public health.

Angelica Pena

School: Pritzker College Prep
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior in Pritzker College Prep.  I lived in Hermosa.  In my free time, I love to explore and travel.  I would love to travel around the world and see different parts of the world to explore their culture and learn from their perspectives.  I would love to help in any way by building community centers.  I want to major in veterinary sciences, psychology or education.

Bukola RinolaBukola Rinola

School: South Shore International College Prep
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior at South Shore International College Prep.  I grew up on the SouthSide of Chicago.  One of my goals is to be able to make a difference by improving health equity in my community.  I always have been interested in health care and hope to become a doctor in neuroscience.  I hope to gain tangible knowledge on solutions to the inequities that are occurring in my own community as well as other under resourced communities.

Amari Roberts

School: George Westinghouse College Prep
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a young woman who lives in the East Garfield Park area.  I also am part of the Chicago Housing Authority Youth Council that advocates for Chicago Housing Authority residents.  I believe that this program will allow for me to not only connect those in my community with resources but also those who are also Chicago Housing Authority residents in need of resources just like me.

Olivia Sconyers

School: Lindblom Math & Science Academy
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior at Lindblom Math & Science Academy in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.  My primary interests in health care include obstetrics/gynecology, public health, and epidemiology.  I want to use this opportunity to learn more about public health and form a larger network of health care professionals.

Serenity Tario

School:  Perspecitives IIT
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

My high school is Perspectives IIT Math and Science Academy.  In the future, I would like to become a neurosurgeon and learn more about health care.  In my free time, besides being a nerd, I love to pay to piano, guitar, and go over my script for drama club.  I love to be versatile in the things I learn.  I would love to learn about public health.

Jacqueline Vanegas

School: Lane Tech High School
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a current senior at Lane Tech, a school full of opportunities and a diverse community.  It is a community where I have had the chance to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds.  I have discovered the beauty behind so many places.  Living and growing up in Pilsen has made me experience beautiful things alongside things that I wish I could change one day.  Healthcare in under-represented communities is upsetting to see.  Families have to wait extra time to get in touch with a doctor.  Being part of the Youth Advisory Board will allow me to bring new opportunities to my community.

Esmeralda (Esme) Vargas

School: Carver Military Academy
Grade: Senior
Organization: Chicago Scholars

I am a senior at Carver Military Academy.  I want to major in biological sciences to start in my career choice of being a pediatrician (or something else in the medical field).  I also want to minor in clinical psychology in case I want to become a psychiatrist.