Gabriel was born and raised in Avondale, Arizona, and is currently attending the University of Arizona Honors College. He is majoring in Physiology and minoring in Spanish with the goal of attending medical school and becoming a primary care physician. As a physician, Gabriel plans to remain in Arizona to focus on reducing health disparities in underserved populations in Phoenix. As a first generation-American, Gabriel understands the importance of cultural diversity in the community as well as how culture and identity intersects with health.
During his time in Tucson, Gabriel has volunteered at different organizations to serve underrepresented communities. Gabriel volunteers at a free clinic, Cliníca Amistad, as an interpreter to help patients without health insurance, and Casa Alitas migrant shelter in aiding in reuniting families across the country in asylum seekers who have recently migrated to the country. Also, Gabriel was part of the RENEW research team at the University of Arizona that researches the link between substance use, recovery, and hormones. He specifically looked into the use of hormonal contraceptives in treating patients with substance misuse enrolled in Medication Assisted Treatment programs.
Gabriel has previously interned at Amistades helping with the Mayahuel Prevention Consortium in recruitment efforts and facilitating focus groups. Throughout his internship, Gabriel learned about the importance of creating a culturally tailored public health campaign to the Latino population. To get a better understanding about the specific public health issues affecting the Latino population, Gabriel has joined the Amistades Inc. team to aid in their many programs to address and reduce disparities in health and education present in the Latino community of Tucson.
Now, Gabriel is a Project Specialist at Amistades, Inc. working on the Mayahuel Prevention Consortium to aid in its implementation in reducing and preventing substance misuse in Tucson’s youth population through evidence and community-based strategies. Gabriel will also assist in the data collection of the Curando Familias project that looks into the long-term effects that COVID has had on the Latino community.