Irma Ferrer Memorial Health Justice Fellowship

The Irma Ferrer Memorial Health Justice Fellowship at
Latinas Contra Cancer: Impacting Health Outcomes through Service and Advocacy


 The Irma Ferrer Memorial Health Justice Fellowship is a 10-month leadership opportunity for college or graduate level students committed to creating just and equitable access to the healthcare system for the Latino community around issues of cancer.  


Throughout the fellowship year, each fellow will engage in community health work such as patient advocacy & navigation, community health education, cancer survivor support, research and community organizing.  In addition, each fellow will implement a portion of their Vision for Social Change.


We are interested in hosting two fellows each year who live in or go to school in Santa Clara County and who are dedicated to serving their local communities. Each fellow must be committed to health justice and social change. Fellows should demonstrate critical thinking, initiative, follow through and a passion for achieving health equity for the population we serve.  


We welcome and encourage students who are passionate about health justice to apply. 
We prioritize the involvement of self-identified Latinas and Spanish speakers.


The Fellowship runs from March 15, 2021 to December 31, 2021 and includes:
1) 10-month immersion in grassroots community health programs serving the low-income Latino population
2) Training in HIPAA compliance, community health education curriculum and patient advocacy
3) Deepened understanding of health injustice in Santa Clara County and the impact of continued health inequity on the Latino community4) Mentorship & Networking
5) $5,000 stipend

The 2021 application cycle is closed. 

Gisselle Gonzalez-Perez

“I am very thankful to be a part of the first cohort of the Irma Ferrer Memorial Health Justice Fellowship at Latinas Contra Cancer because I will be able to work with my beloved Latino community around issues of cancer.”

Gisselle is a first-generation Mexican-American college student at Stanford University. Gisselle has interests in the studies of public health, medicine, and public policy. She plans to pursue a Human Biology B.S. and reach her ultimate goal of becoming a medical doctor. In her free time, Gisselle enjoys going to the beach, watching sunsets, and spending time with her family. She is currently a Senior Youth Advisor for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and is excited to continue her community health and advocacy work for Latinas Contra Cancer. 

Natalia Zamora Zeledon

“I am very passionate about health education and the representation of my community in scientific research, so I am excited to explore these interests by serving the amazing Latino community in San Jose.”

Natalia is a sophomore at Stanford University, where she is pursuing a B.S in Human Biology. She was born in Costa Rica, and immigrated to Southern CA when she was 12 years old. She is interested in medicine, health education, and biology, and her ultimate goal is to become a physician and work with low-income populations. She has been volunteering with Latinas Contra Cancer since Spring 2020, where she helped with COVID-19 relief and cancer education.

Miriam Lucia Trigo

“I am thrilled to work with LCC. I am excited to help our people get back on their feet after an unprecedented year and to learn from the resilient Latino community in the Bay.”

Miriam is a Junior at Stanford University studying Materials Science and Engineering. She is also on the pre-medical track. She is passionate about medical innovation and health equity, and looks forward to expanding these interests in future years. She enjoys hiking, singing, and cooking with her family.

Monica Peña-Aguilar

“I’m so honored to be a Health Justice Fellow! As a Latina looking to work in healthcare, it is very important for me to work with my community for my community, and this fellowship allows me to do so in an extensive manner”

Monica is a sophomore at Stanford University majoring in Psychology, with minors in Human Biology and Italian. Growing up as a second-generation Salvadoran immigrant in Dallas, Texas, she has been exposed to a very diverse community which has greatly influenced her interest in global health and mental health, and increasing their accessibility to low-income Latino communities. She volunteers at Cardinal Free Clinics, works at the Women’s Community Center, is involved in Latinos Unidos and WYSE, and is a research assistant for the Intimate Partner Violence Lab at Stanford. She is passionate about patient advocacy, mental health education, and working with the Latino community.

The Irma Ferrer Memorial Health Justice Fellowship was started in honor of Irma Ferrer. Born in San Francisco to Mexican immigrant parents, Irma Rose Ferrer grew up in the Mission District and later moved with her parents and three siblings to Santa Rosa where she worked in her family’s Mexican restaurant while completing school at Santa Rosa Junior College. She married Juan Ferrer, an immigrant from Mexico City, a Marine and self-made man. They moved to San Rafael where she raised her four children and ran a successful plumbing business. In 1988, after a two year battle, she died at the age of 54, of stomach cancer. Irma was the matriarch of her family, loved to host holiday gatherings and open her home to anyone who needed a place to stay. She was an indomitable spirit for her family and the community. A model of charity, her volunteer work included leading the school parent group, fundraising for Catholic Charities, making candy for the church bazaar and serving on numerous non-profit boards. Irma was also involved in every aspect of her children’s lives. She believed in getting things done. She was always a proponent of “charity beginning at home”, or making sure you take care of family first and then your friends and community. She had a deep religious faith and lived by those principles in all aspects of her life. Her faith, family and resources sustained her as she battled cancer. This fellowship supports her concern for those battling cancer who have less resources and therefore is dedicated to provide comprehensive support to other Latinas in their fight against cancer.