Finding his passion in health literacy for Latino community

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Rayness Mollinedo is from Sterling, Virginia, but his family came from Bolivia. This third-year students is majoring in Public Health Sciences and his interests align with health literacy within the Latino community. 

How did you get interested in Global Health?
Mollinedo: I got introduced to Global Health in my first year when I went to a pre-health advising session. I had some older friends who gave me more information on the major and helped me whenever I had a question.

I had Professor Colvin for two classes -- Challenges and Innovations and Global Studies Practicum with the Movement for Change and Social Justice, that was based in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha Townships in South Africa. I saw public health physically applied when taking the course and even worked on grant writing with a group of master’s students. 

Have you studies abroad? If so, please tell me more about the place and what were you doing?
Mollinedo: I have not studied abroad but I hope to study in Singapore due to their high level of education in their institution along with the  that I would like to expand my perspective within public health. 

How has your interest in global health influenced what you are studying? What are some of the next steps?
Mollinedo: My interest in global health revolves around health literacy within the Latino community, and I found this out whilst interpreting for the Arlington Free Clinic. It has led me to take classes that would give me a holistic view on medicine, and culture.

I have a research internship with a non-profit known as Vennue which focuses on quality of pharmaceutical healthcare in low/middle income countries. And I have started my research with the SCHOOL Project which is under the UVa School of Education, in collaboration with UVA Medical School and Boston College, in which I focus on the effects of caregivers’ health literacy on child development. 

What would be your advice to students looking for global opportunities at UVA?
Mollinedo: My advice to any students looking for global opportunities at UVA would be to first and foremost find what you are passionate about, and secondly to not be afraid to about opportunities that interest you. I found my passion for health literacy just last year, and I got these research positions by taking the lead.

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