Leslie at Marin Teen Girl conference for web

As a Dominican University student pursuing a degree in Global Public Health (GPH), I wanted to engage in work outside my school environment. I am not from Marin County. I was born and raised in the San Mateo County, specifically in Redwood City. In my second year as an undergraduate, I was presented the opportunity to intern with Zero Breast Cancer. They were seeking a bilingual intern, and with only one day to spare I decided to apply and hoped for the best.

I love my culture. I love speaking, writing, and reading in Spanish. What better way to practice these skills, than to provide the Spanish speaking community with material translated in Spanish? My position in the office mainly consisted of sitting at a desk and being in front of a computer screen. For that reason, this internship opportunity was very unfamiliar to me. I am more accustomed to engaging with people and providing additional support in that way. Although sitting at a desk, finding links and translating descriptions and other material into the Spanish language was not a task that I was familiar with, I still delivered the same quality work. This was such a great opportunity for me. Not only was I continuing to practice my Spanish skills, but I was also providing support to the people in the community.

Outside the office, I had the opportunity to represent ZBC at the Marin Teen Girl Conference, alongside ZBC Program Director Lianna Hartmour! The name of the conference speaks for itself. The space was filled with teenage girls who had a desire to engage in the workshops being held, from bullying, to cancer, to learning about how to take care of their bodies. Many girls came to our resource table, eager to learn more. Some asked for ways to volunteer, while others signed up to receive emails from ZBC! It warmed my heart to see many girls like me, wanting to be involved in the community and eager to expand their knowledge.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity with Zero Beast Cancer! The staff is very kind. Everyone made me feel welcomed from the start. I knew that if I ever had questions or needed help, I could ask anyone in the office and they would kindly help me. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful ladies. Although an office setting was unusual to me, these ladies made it feel less strange.

This interning opportunity was presented to me at the right time. Prior to interning with ZBC, I knew “breast cancer” meant cancer in the breasts and knew that our health at a young age has a huge impact as we get older. I also knew of some ways to reduce the risk of cancer, such as using glass to microwave food and avoiding all plastic. Now, I am aware of the many things I can do to reduce the risks. From my eating habits to chemicals found in my home, I have expanded my knowledge. I am very thankful for the opportunity and the staff that I had the pleasure of working with!


Written by Leslie Civil, ZBC Bilingual Health Education Intern. 

Leslie Civil served as ZBC’s Bilingual Health Education Intern from February to May 2019. From her first day, Leslie enthusiastically jumped in as part of the ZBC team and provided invaluable Spanish-language assistance. Her help finding links for our Las niñas y la nueva pubertad microsite (coming soon!) and completing translations have been invaluable in our efforts to further expand the reach of ZBC. Much of her work will be visible on the website in the coming months, though you can currently view her translation of the book review for The Yes Brain, which is titled El cerebro afirmativo del niño in Spanish. We are excited that Leslie will continue to work with us over the summer! 


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