Meet the team: Nancy Nava


In today’s edition of Meet the Team, we will introduce Nancy Nava, our Research and Evaluation Manager. Meet the Team is an opportunity for readers to get to know a little bit more about the amazing and inspiring people who work with Esperanza United. Below are facts about Nancy Nava, as provided by herself.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the sunny state of California but have been calling Atlanta home for 10 years.

Where do you feel most at home?

No geographic area makes me feel at home because I relate to the saying, “home is where the heart is” and my heart is with my family.

What inspires you, professionally and personally?

Pioneers and leaders who have given the Latin@ community a positive representation are an inspiration for many. Personally, I look at them as role models, and strive to continue in their work.  This is because I strongly believe that it takes one person to make a difference in many lives. I know this due to the fact that I was fortunate enough to be mentored by strong leaders who aim to advocate for those who have long gone underrepresented. The first person who had a huge impact on my career path was Dr. Julia Perilla, a wonderful woman who took me under her mentorship along with her group of then graduate students. Today, I aim to make them and my community proud and be part of a movement to move Latin@ rights forward. I aspire to use the inspiration of my predecessors to shine a spotlight on the amazing accomplishments and strengths of our Latin@ communities.

In terms of your work for Esperanza United, what are your areas of expertise or what areas are particularly interesting to you?

I am excited to be part of Esperanza United. I love being part of a such a powerful movement to further build capacity for our Latin@ communities. My background is in program implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. I am particularly interested in program evaluation and continuing to investigate best practices within Latin@ communities.

Share one thing you have learned, big or small, doing your work.

Through my research training, I have learned the importance of community engagement and the role community individuals play in changing behaviors.

Who inspires you?

My family inspires me to be my best and continue my commitment to my community.

What do you do to relax, de-stress or recharge your batteries?

I really enjoy traveling, hiking, running, and of course some good sleep to recharge batteries!

Why have you chosen to do this kind of work?

I have chosen this career path because of the impact that my role has in Latin@ communities. I want to empower others like me to overcome the barriers that as a Latina we encounter and promote Latin@ health.

What is your favorite food?

I love my Mexican food. My mother makes the best chiles rellenos!

What is your favorite book?

I don’t like to limit myself to just one particular genre or author, so my book selection tends to vary from historical fictions like Atonement to fantasy series like Harry Potter.