Photo of Juan Cano

Resilient, Perseverant, Venturesome

Hutto Patterson and MCAT Prep Scholar

​I was born in Leon, Guanajuato and grew up in Richmond, California. As an undocumented student I didn’t understand the full spectrum of my opportunities in higher education. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I saw my future staying home and continuing to work in landscape. However, a couple of personal experiences reshaped my interest in higher education and it was until I came to Cal, that I realized I wanted to pursue a career in STEM. I wish to work with the undocumented community and bridge the gap of access to equitable healthcare. Along with my profession, I wish to empower undocumented youth to pursue STEM and the importance of diversity in STEM. I’m a big fan of photography, exercising (hiking, biking, strength training, etc.), dancing, and making dark chocolate. I’m part of the coordinating team for Street Level Health Project. We offer basic diagnostic and treatment services, as well as referrals for primary, specialty and urgent care. Our services are available without regard to ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin or ability to pay. On campus, I’m a scholar of the Cal Alumni Achievement Award Program.

I’m interested in bridging the gap between access to healthcare and underserved communities; I want to bring a different perspective into the field of medicine by connecting how geography can play a role in making healthcare accessible to communities regardless of their socioeconomic, immigration, cultural, and gender status. I’m part of the Hutto Patterson Fellowship which are based on special social justice projects. I worked on combining my interest in bridging the access to equitable healthcare for undocumented communities and empowering undocumented youth towards higher education. Also, I’m part of the MCAT Prep Scholars Program which prepares a diverse group of students to apply for medical school. We participated in a national conference at UC Davis where we networked and took part in several workshops geared towards the process of applying to medical school, learned about professions, and evaluated possible tracks towards our preferred professions. We also participated in several workshops throughout the semester on building an elevator pitches, creating a resume, and networking.


“NERDS has encouraged my participation in STEM and raising awareness for diversity in STEM. I'm part of the MCAT Scholars which promote a diverse group of students towards medical school. Our community of like-minded people encourage each other to continue and create a safe space to share our stories. The student center space provides a safe space for us to study on campus and also includes poster printing, a secrete study room, and study space for networking with students in the STEM field. Diana also provides various personal advising for students who are under special circumstances towards their desired profession. Diana goes above and beyond to search for opportunities for students to succeed. For example, I've received personal advise from Diana in my journey towards medical school as an undocumented student.

Without programs like Cal NERDS, my journey through Cal would have been more difficult. Along with the research opportunities, Cal NERDS fosters a home away from home. The wonderful staff enjoy working with students and understand the struggles of first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minorities in STEM. Diana is a role model for many because of her passion, enthusiasm, and perseverance to advocate for underrepresented folks in STEM. ”

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