Palomar faculty, staff and students came together with community members for this semester’s Tarde de Familia, a biannual event designed to increase awareness of Latino students and their families. The program features Latino professionals in the community who share their stories of overcoming adversity to achieve their educational and career goals. The focus of this semester’s event was Health Care.

Pictured with Dr. Jack Kahn, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction are from left Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso and Ilana Martinez.

Special guest speakers were Iliana Martinez, a Kaiser Permanente Labor and Delivery Nurse and Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, who leads the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California in Sacramento.

Martinez spoke about the challenges she confronted, including coming to this country at age 16 with minimal English-speaking skills and becoming pregnant at an early age.  It was through observing the care her child received at a hospital when he had a medical emergency that Martinez realized she would like to become a nurse. She enrolled at Palomar College and was eventually accepted into the nursing program. After graduating, she continued on at CSUSM and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She now works at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego and is also planning to pursue a master’s in Nursing.

Dr. Reynoso spoke of his experience as the son of Mexican immigrants growing up in the Central Valley and North San Diego County, and his affinity for education. After his mother was diagnosed with cancer he became particularly interested in assisting the Latino/Latina community and other disenfranchised groups with access to healthcare. Reynoso received a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Latin American Studies from UCLA; a Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley; and a  Doctorate in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Reynoso is the first Latino to have received that Doctorate from Harvard. Most recently, he was a doctoral fellow in Total Health Promotion at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California Region, where he focused on designing innovative programs to address food insecurity.

Information tables at the Tarde de Familia event featured various college departments and services. Guests were also treated to dinner.

Hosted by Association of Latinos and Allies for Student Success (ALASS), Tarde de Familia has previously focused on Mental Health, Engineering and Public Safety, among other fields. For more information about the biannual event, call 760-744-1150 ext. 2262 or email