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Mothers & Daughters Program

Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Outreach Program (EOP) in Baldwin Park, Calif., geared toward Latinas to provide opportunities for mothers to become educational and emotional advocates

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As a sixth-grader, the last thing Belinda Campos wanted was to wake up early on a Saturday to attend Kaiser Permanente’s Mothers & Daughters Program: Aprendiendo Juntas (Learning Together). “At first I had no choice, when you’re in 6th grade you just want to sleep in on the weekends.”

Soon enough, however, Campos began to learn about her mother — and about herself — through the program. She says it changed her life. “Mom and I didn’t have the best relationship growing up, I was really separating from my family,” she said. After a series of bonding activities the program offered, Campos says she saw her mother in a whole new light, and that they grew closer. “I learned who she is as a woman, a girlfriend, a wife. At the end of the program I saw my mom as a hero.”

Aprendiendo Juntas is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Outreach Program (EOP) in Baldwin Park, Calif., geared toward Latinas to provide opportunities for mothers to become educational and emotional advocates for their daughters to attend college. The seven-week program includes seminars on communication, physical, and social development of emerging teens. The course also better informed the students about requirements for college, information on financial aid, and university tours. Successful Latino and Latina professionals spoke to the students about their accomplishments and struggles to achieve their goals, as well as the significance of having their mothers be an engaged partner in the pursuit of higher education.

There’s also a health education aspect, in which mothers and daughters become partners in maximizing the daughters’ emotional, physical, and psychological health. This year at the program’s annual conference in late January, which marked the program’s 20 anniversary, attendees and alumnae focused on the need for maintaining balance and the well-being of the mind, body and spirit.

“Aprendiendo Juntas is a wonderful local example of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to fostering healthy communities,” said Angela Coron, managing director, Kaiser Permanente Southern California Community Benefit. “Addressing these core issues can create a lifelong trajectory for success.”

Campos credits the program, in part, to her personal success. “It kept me out of trouble. I know it made an impact for me, as a young girl raised in Baldwin Park who wasn’t bonding with her family. If it wasn’t for the encouragement the program gave me, I probably wouldn’t have my Master of Public Health right now,” she says. “As a young child I was very overweight. I would eat my emotions. I didn’t have a very healthy environment. Through the emotional and physical help Kaiser Permanente gave my mom and me, I realized I didn’t have to eat my feelings.”

Today, she’s a project manager with California Center for public health advocacy, working toward reducing childhood obesity through policy and grassroots organizing. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. Campos and her mother volunteer every year at the program’s annual conference. This year, for example, they took the participants on a tour of Claremont Graduate University.

“I don’t know how to thank Kaiser Permanente for sponsoring this program. As a Latina, as a child, and as a woman, I strongly believe this program has changed my life and my mother’s life for the better,” she said.