Alejandra Barreto is a first-generation, pre-medical student from Lynwood, California. She is a USC Mork Scholar (10 selected), Gates Scholar (300 selected nationwide), LeaderShape participant which is a national institute to transform the leadership capacity, and head student researcher for USC’s Office for Health Promotion. Through her research, she strives to improve USC students’ well-being by investigating and developing strategies to promote a sense of belonging, equity in and out of the classroom, decrease substance abuse, and promote healthy relationships.
As a daughter of Mexican immigrants and witnessing firsthand the challenges faced due to lack of insurance and language/cultural barriers to healthcare, she cares deeply about underserved communities. She is the co-president of Flying Samaritans and director of outreach of Mobile Clinic, where she focuses on bringing access to health care to the community of Tijuana, Mexico, and LA’s homeless community through organizing free clinics.
One of her motivations is to improve the navigation of resources among high school students. As co-president of Scholars Leading Scholars, she has created partnerships with neighboring high schools to provide mentorship for 80+ high-school students yearly and help them apply to jobs, internships, and college.
In addition to her involvement at USC, Ms. Barreto is a student researcher for the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics where she investigates how immigration status and policy affects Hispanic women’s perinatal and infant health outcomes.
Alejandra will be applying to medical school this summer in pursuit of her aspirations of becoming a physician who advocates for accessible and equitable health care for underserved communities.