Fernanda Garcia Rochin was born and raised in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, a small border town dependent on agricultural seasonal work. Since 2015, she has lived in Tucson, Arizona and has formed part of the community and its surroundings. Before moving to Tucson, Arizona, she was greatly engaged with agricultural worker programs for immigrants, such as the Make a Change Community Migrant program in San Luis, Arizona. Through San Luis High School, she was able to serve as a community outreach volunteer by redirecting field workers to accessible and culturally competent clinics in San Luis, Mexico and Arizona, after pesticide exposure. As a result of her community engagement, she was selected as one of Taylor Farm’s migrant scholarship recipients, which further strengthened her involvement in the community. Coming from a small town that often lacked opportunities for the Latino community inspired her to pursue a career in Public Health – Health Promotion with hopes of promoting medical accessibility in underserved communities and improving cultural and medical competence to contribute to the achievement of optimal health.
Fernanda graduated from the University of Arizona, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Promotion, a minor in Spanish and a minor in Psychology. During her college years she formed part of the Flying Samaritans Program through the University of Arizona and assisted medical students by serving as a translator and interpreter for Agua Prieta’s patient residents to improve cultural competence and decrease language barriers across minority groups who sought medical treatment. Moreover, she served as a volunteer at Tu Nidito, in Tucson, Arizona and carried out support workshops for terminally ill patients or families who had lost a family member due to terminal illness. After graduation, Fernanda interned with the America Heart Association (AHA) and was the organization’s Community Outreach Intern. She oversaw the logistics of the Blood Pressure Unit (BPU) at San Xavier’s Church, served as a workshop panelist at the Consulate of Mexico for the organization, carried out all educational panels regarding cardiovascular disease in the elderly, and coordinated community social events. Lastly, Fernanda worked for the Arizona Department of Child Safety as a Case Management Specialist where she worked with the agency to ensure that services and support were in place to facilitate meaningful and behavioral changes that address the safety and risk concerns of family and all family members.
In her role at Amistades Inc, Fernanda serves as one of the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Navigators for the federal grant of SAMHSA in the prevention program Por Vida. Por Vida implements innovative, culturally and generational HIV and STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) prevention and navigation approaches to serve Southern Arizona’s Latino Gen Population of ages 13 to 24 in Pima County. By carrying out prevention and education strategies, such as Cuidate (take care of yourself) and Too Good for Drugs, to provide services or screenings to the population. Por Vida increases access to substances misuse and HIV prevention methods to reduce the incidence and risk of substance misuse, transmitting or acquiring HIV/STI and viral hepatitis among Latino Youth and young adults.