The Poverty Roadblock
According to the current United States Census, 39.7 million people are poor in America. This works out to 12.3 percent of the population or 1 in 8 Americans. Women have higher poverty rates than men and – no surprise – minority women have the highest poverty rates of any group in America. Research further shows that minority women living in poverty are less able to bear the costs of health care. Therefore, they are less likely to get early detection of breast cancer, making their survival rates significantly lower than other afflicted populations.
Meet Cindy Jaramillo
Cindy is a case manager at Carter Wolden Curtis, LLP and bi-lingual volunteer for the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation. “I grew up in South Central Los Angeles amongst a lot of people who were lacking in basic resources and healthcare,” recalls Cindy. “Because of this, I am always looking for ways to help my Spanish-speaking community. Albie Aware has provided me another avenue to do just that.”
Cindy got involved in community service when she attended U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in Sociology and minored in Chicano studies. She was Co-chair of Hermanas, a group that provides a safe place for Latinx students to thrive. “We basically provided assistance in what we refer to as the “three pillars,” explains Cindy. “This includes academics, community service and social interaction.”
Though many minorities are admitted to college, a majority of these students are likely to drop out during their first two years due to their unprivileged backgrounds, insufficient preparation and limited resources. Hermanas exposes students to the various resources available on campus, provides social contact and encourages community involvement. “We created a family on campus,” says Cindy. “Our goal was to give Latino women a base from which to succeed.”
Cindy Joins the Albie Aware Team
Cindy married Julio Contreras shortly after graduation and they have three children, Julio Jr. (7), and twins, Maria and Jesus (4). After spending a few years in Southern California, they moved to Sacramento. Cindy found employment with Carter Wolen Curtis, working with Cliff Carter, Attorney at Law. Cliff is a former Albie Aware board member. “Cliff introduced me to the Albie Aware mission, explained their need for an interpreter, and encouraged me to become a volunteer,” says Cindy. “I’m so glad I did.”
As an Albie Aware volunteer, Cindy is involved with the following:
- Liaison for Spanish Speaking Clients. Cindy assists clients who have reached out to the organization or who are referred to us. She sometimes processes their intake and helps get them set up with a doctor who can provide them with a referral for a mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, or whatever they need.
- Education and Support. Cindy communicates with many clients who are already going through the process and provides them with an understanding of the process and steps they face.
- Classes and Workshops. Albie Aware conducts several classes and workshops throughout the year in various locations including coffee shops, food banks, and counseling centers such as La Familia Counseling Center. La Familia provides multicultural counseling, support and outreach services/programs to help families overcome adversity. It is located on 34th Street downtown Sacramento.
“A lot of what I do is educate, comfort and empower our clients,” explains Cindy. “I let them know they’re not alone and that there are numerous resources available to them. Further, I show them that Albie Aware understands what they’re going through and is here to get them through this chapter in their lives.”
Making Testing Available to All
Mammography screening is important for all women, regardless of their race/ethnicity or genetic predisposition for breast cancer. Because minority women are less likely than others to get mammography screening, it is important to have people like Cindy Jaramillo on the Albie Aware team. Her work for the organization is invaluable to our core purpose and we would be less effective in reaching women and men in need without her.
“A cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence, as it did for my mother-in-law living in Mexico,” Cindy says. “Albie Aware is saving lives and making a difference every day. I am truly proud and honored to be a part of this amazing organization.”
Albie Aware Needs You
The Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation offers a variety of volunteer opportunities that can easily fit into your lifestyle and schedule. Consider becoming a volunteer with us. To learn more click here or contact our office at (916) 927-1592.