Alicia Sandoval, 31, with her family at her parents' house in San Bernardino. She says she is very close to her parents and siblings who have supported throughout her career, helping her with money for tuition and giving her rides to her college, 45 minutes away. She is the first one in her family to go to college and is a role model for her nieces and nephews who look up to her.
Alicia is the Director of Health Education at Park Tree Community Center in Pomona. ''Currently, my role at work during the pandemic is to make sure that all of our chronic disease patients have control of their health in order to help prevent them from getting the virus. I educate chronic disease patients on how to manage their medications, diet, stress, and physical activity during the time of the pandemic. I also educate patients on the importance of vitamins and face masks during this time. My role was also to assist with the creation and implementation of all of the educational materials on COVID-19 for patients and staff. I also have assisted with new policies created for COVID-19 and reduction of exposure. I also assist with managing our COVID-19 drive up testing.''
Alicia came to the USA when she was five years old. Her family came for a vacation to the USA and never left. Her parents are also essential workers and own a cleaning service and Alicia helps them out sometimes as well. ''With Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) also came being granted the opportunity to obtain a work permit to work legally. Prior to DACA, I was working as an independent contractor tutoring children K-12 for a few years. Simultaneously, I was working cleaning houses and commercial buildings with my family. Receiving DACA meant I could finally work in the medical field and was able to use my degree that I worked so hard for.'' She pursued a Masters degree on Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education at Concordia University, Nebraska. During the program, she worked two jobs in order to pay tuition since she did not qualify for financial aid and I did not want to get any loans. She was able to pay off tuition on her own and in May of 2019, she travelled to Nebraska along with her parents, two of her siblings, her boyfriend, and her two nieces to walk proudly as a Mexican DACA recipient. ''My goal for the future is to receive a doctorate in Public Health and hold a leadership position at a large organization so I can help make a difference in people in my community. I would like to create health promotion programs at a large scale to help people achieve healthy lifestyles.''