100% Kids Covered: Karina the Dreamer

04 December 2018 Written by  

Karina is a Dreamer who was born in Puebla, Mexico. Her family immigrated to the U.S. when she was twelve years old. She is now eighteen, a first-year student at Salt Lake Community College, and is studying to become a Physician Assistant. I was able to chat with her about her experience with health care and learn from her first-hand experience to what it was like to grow up without health insurance because of her immigration status.

She has one younger sister who is currently sixteen and a Sterling Scholar at her high school. She told me that her sister had a leg injury last summer after jumping off a cliff into a lake. She recalls her mom being so scared of the bill “its so much money, its so much money” because they thought they had to go to the emergency room. Luckily, they were able to go to an urgent care clinic where their bill of $800 went down to about $100 from charity care that they received. She said her sister and her grew up going to Community Health Clinics to obtain care. She said it was affordable to receive her shots, but there were a lot of limitations.

She said, “It definitely had affected me. Like I want to get a general check and I only go to the doctor when I feel bad. It’d be nice to go when I don’t have an illness instead of going when I have something [going on physically].” She mentioned that while the care in community clinics were helpful, she recognized the care was not the same as if she had health insurance. She would much rather be able to obtain preventative health care instead of only when its medically necessary. Her hopes are to continue helping her community and offering her services some day to those in need. Our campaign aims to ensure that children like Karen obtain health care coverage. Will you join our campaign to ensure that children like her are able to obtain adequate health care throughout their youth so they can reach their full potential? Join us today!

CiriacHealth Policy and Community Engagement Fellow

Ciriac is a proud immigrant who is passionate about immigrant rights, education, and health care. She is a community organizer, poet, and writer who uses her voice and online platform to advocate for her community.

During her undergraduate she was heavily involved in creating access to higher education for undocumented students on the University of Utah campus. After graduating, she has continued to work closely with the Enriching Utah Coalition (EUC) and serves as the Immigration Chair for the Utah Coalition of la Raza (UCLR) board to work on immigrant justice issues.

Ciriac graduated with a B.S. in Political Science and Honors Sociology  from the University of Utah. She was born in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico and grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is excited to join Voices for Utah Children as the Health Policy and Community Engagement Fellow and hopes to continue her education by obtaining a J.D. or M.P.A.