Changemaker Highlight of the Week: Imelda Salgado
Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2023
Imelda Salgado is earning a public health degree with a minor in medical Spanish. She enrolled at the University of Evansville (UE) as a Fellows Scholar in the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As a first-generation college student from Indianapolis, Imelda was shy, quiet, and didn't always feel comfortable asking for help. However, she wanted to challenge herself and found a way to do that through ChangeLab.
During her freshman year, Imelda was the project coordinator for a ChangeLab course with the goal of ascertaining healthcare challenges of the local Latino community.
With guidance from their professor, Dr. Cindy Crowe, assistant professor of Spanish, Imelda's ChangeLab team dug deep and made a difference. Through surveys and interviews, focus groups and translation services, they brought important healthcare resources directly to the community members who needed them.
"I couldn't believe I was the one making the phone calls and talking to people - this was so outside my comfort zone, but it's exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to challenge myself, and UE gave me that chance," Imelda says.
Imelda has worked with the Latino Community Healthcare ChangeLab ever since her freshman year, growing the project from communication, education, and vaccine access during the COVID-19 pandemic to broader access to healthcare resources and language learning. The group has made connections in local schools to help young Latino students have a safe afterschool activity where they could feel comfortable practicing English. The ChangeLab also hosts regular meetings at a local church where they provide adult English learners opportunity to learn and practice the language.
Imelda is a true changemaker. She is always unafraid to live outside her comfort zone while pursuing meaningful change and has grown in leadership capabilities and confidence every step of the way.