Salud Youth Leader Quintiliano Rios
Quintiliano Rios is a first generation college student starting at DePaul University this fall. He’s thankful for the support that he has received from his family and plans to continue his education to honor his mother and in memory of his father. He has been involved in many activities in and outside school and directed Thomas Kelly High School’s first mariachi band “Los Rios de Mexico” for the last three years of high school. He joined the Salud team in his eagerness to help the Latino community and inform them about health care and prevention.
1. If you are an immigrant, tell us what it means to be an immigrant in America. If you are not an immigrant, tell us how the immigrant issue touches you on personal level.
Personally, I think that to be an immigrant in the United States is to work for a future that could not be found in our countries of origin. Although many of us have been pushed out of our countries as result of low economic standards, we always aim for a better future. It also means to have the opportunity to obtain a college education that otherwise would be twice as hard to afford.
2. For better or for worse how can or how does media (TV, movies, radio, news stories) make a difference in immigrants’ lives?
Media has always played an important role on immigrant’s lives by entertaining and informing. However, the attention that the media puts on immigrants often does not go beyond a profitable level. Compared to the products media sells like cable, cell phones and cosmetics, topics of health are rarely promoted. The media can be used to truly inform people about health issues or other important issues rather than what would happen in the next episode of the novela.
3. Tell us about an interesting or wise practice from another culture that you wish Americans would adopt.
Perhaps this is not specifically in another culture but I do wish that Americans would be more open-minded. There are Americans that are open-minded but there are also others that are misinformed and hold particularly conservative views. These views can be reflected in the foundation of anti-immigrant groups and laws that have been enforced throughout the nation. It is also important to overcome the barriers of discrimination and racism and stop thinking on black and white.
4. How could immigrant health and well-being be improved in your city or in the United States?
One of the issues that immigrants face is that of the lack of insurance and information. Sometimes most of the income, about 80%, of an immigrant family is spent on rent. The creation of comprehensive clinical centers such as Alivio Medical Center, would improve immigrant life standard as these provide low cost services. If there is an accessible price, immigrant communities would not think twice before going to the doctor.
5. Tell us something about your background that led you to become the person you are today. What is your greatest motivation/motivator?
I have always been encouraged to do my best by my mother. She raised me and my little brother as a single mother and has always been there for me. I admire her strength and her determination when she brought us to the United States and has inspired me to continue my education. Another thing that has helped me become who I am today is the influence of friends within my community who have inspired me to be role model for other youth.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.