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McNair Scholar 2011Maira Rosas-Lee

Maira Rosas-Lee recently graduated with a double major in Chicano Studies and Spanish Studies with an emphasis in Public Health at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.  Her research interests include sexuality education and alcohol abuse prevention while investigating how Chicano/Latino culture and identity formation can be healthy protective factors that improve health behaviors among youth. Ms. Rosas-Lee plans to pursue graduate degrees in Public Health and Chicano Studies

Maira Rosas-Lee photo
I am going to be a leader… Not for fame or power, but to convey courage and that 'No, you can’t' is not an option. I want to start my own non-profit organization for youth located outside of major cities that revolves around reducing high-risk behaviors and equal access to success.

Research project

¡Encuentro! A Healthy Youth Development Project. Formative Research – Latino Youth Perspectives

Abstract: In the United States and in Minnesota, Latina youth have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and birth of all major racial/ethnic groups.  Thus, it is imperative to develop pregnancy prevention programs tailored to Latina youth and their social and cultural contexts. One of the key components in developing culturally-tailored programming is understanding what youth want. As part of the larger ¡Encuentro! project, conducted with funds from the CDC, the purpose of this study is to describe methods used to recruit and involve Latino youth from the Twin Cities in focus group discussions about healthy development, sexual and reproductive health. Youth attending local high schools and community organizations were invited to participate in focus groups. Those who expressed interest were asked to contact ¡Encuentro! staff for more information. Youth engaged in group discussions (English/Spanish) led by same-gender bilingual Latino facilitators and completed a brief demographic questionnaire. Methods used by the ¡Encuentro! team addressed challenges and barriers to research participation commonly faced by Latino youth.

Faculty profile

Renee E. Sieving, Ph.D., RN is an associate professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing and Department of Pediatrics.  She is Deputy Director of the Healthy Youth Development-Prevention Research Center which conducts community-partnered research, provides education, and disseminates actionable knowledge promoting healthy development and health equity among youth. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the UMN, a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Tennessee, and her B.A. from Concordia College-River Forest Illinois.  Her research focuses on understanding influences on adolescent risky sexual behaviors and pregnancy and on testing interventions that involve clinics, schools, families and communities in promoting adolescent health and well-being.