I AM FPHLP 2019: Cheldy Martinez

Cheldy Martinez, FPHLP 2019Cheldy Martinez was part of the 2019 Michigan FPHLP cohort. She currently attends the University of Southern California and will graduate in 2021 with her Bachelor's degree in Global Health and a minor in Gender Studies. Last summer, Cheldy interned with the LA VIDA Partnership program at the CHASS Center in Detroit, MI.

At her field placement, Cheldy worked with young girls ages 11-14, utilizing curriculum to lead sessions on coping mechanisms, empathy, how to love themselves, and how to excel in higher education as young minority women. She also worked alongside the social workers in learning about domestic violence and creating methods in which African American and Latina women can gain more confidence and trust in opening up about their experiences, as well as new methods for women to reach out when they experience domestic violence. 

Cheldy applied for Michigan FPHLP because she wanted to be a part of a cohort and meet individuals who were interested in the same fields as she was. It was also important to meet other people who looked like her and came from underprivileged backgrounds. 

The highlights of her FPHLP experience was meeting people from all over the country through her cohort, traveling to Atlanta to visit the CDC, and her field placement with the LA VIDA Partnership program. The greatest challenge Cheldy experienced during FPHLP was being homesick and realizing that adulting takes time. During her summer, she was able to learn better time management skills and enhance her cooperation skills. 

Cheldy is currently a senior at USC. After her summer with FPHLP, she has been working as a research assistant at USC's Psychosocialbiology of Women's health & Emotion Research (POWER) Lab. Her work focuses on empowering women to improve their health through research and community-based educational outreach about factors underlying women’s emotional and physical health. Current projects utilize Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) and behavioral pharmacology to investigate sex/gender differences and women-specific factors in consequences and mechanisms underlying tobacco addiction. In the future, Cheldy's plans are to pursue a career and doctorate in behavioral health. 

Her advice for students who are considering applying to FPHLP is to not give up and try your best and to always try something uncomfortable every day!