“I Have a Voice”

This category contains 26 posts

I Have a Voice: Griselda Olivas

Griselda Olivas

Griselda Olivas, a registered nurse with over 30 years of experience in the medical field, is often described as a true advocate for women in the fight against breast cancer.As a kid Olivas was the friend that will always take care others, “if my friends were injured I will go and get a band –aid,” says Olivas.

“My mom used to tease me and say, you are going to be a nurse when you grow up.”

Today Olivas applies more than just band-aids; she is a registered nurse at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center and Cancer Navigator for the mobile mammography program.

Olivas first job was at San Joaquin General Hospital. But ultimately she wanted to work specifically in women`s health.

And so one day, 16 years ago, looking at the newspaper, a job ad caught her attention.

“They [San Joseph`s Hospital] were looking for a bilingual nurse who would do community outreach for women`s health.”

“I will like to do something like that, to go out to the community and help my Latina women,” thought Olivas that day.

And so she started working for the cancer detention program at medical center and has worked tirelessly to improve the care of breast cancer patients around the community.

“When I started we had one little cart and that was our clientele… we now grown into a file room with over 4, 000 charts and 60 percent and more are Latina women.”

During her first years with the program, Olivas realized that many of her patients only spoke Spanish, and that many women did not attended their appointments.

Olivas created the navigation services programand the “Comadre” (Comrade) workshop which caters to the needsof women, especially Latinas facing breast cancer.

As a Cancer Navigator Olivas, many times picks up her patients and takes them to their appointments.  “I knew for a fact that they will keep up with their appointments and I will be there to advocate to translate and to support them at the same time.”

At the time Latinas had limited informational resources due to the language barrier, the “Comadre” workshop dedicated to provide resources and information about breast cancer in the Latina community.

“I come from a strong Latina family and  there is a lot of “comadres”,  when we sit down  we talk about everything from A-Z …this was a time of sharing , talk about our health and about what we are doing to take care of ourselves.”

13 years have passed and  the mission of the Comadre Workshop continues, the next one to be held at St. Linus Church on Tuesday, October 30th  from 5:30 -8:00 P.M.

“I just want to make sure that my ladies get the best care and are treated with dignity and respect … that is my mission.”

To attend the Comadre Workshop you must registered by calling (209) 461-5367.

I HAVE A VOICE: María Ramos

“I am a community Activist…”

María Ramos has dedicated her life to eliminate discrimination, oppression, and injustice in her community. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Michelle Morales

Michelle Morales is determined to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community to challenge intolerance and promote acceptance. Continue reading

Candy Vargas, Bilingual Weekly

Candy Vargas poses for Bilingual Weekly cover-shoot by Sarah Lippincott.

Candy Vargas,

Born and raised in Lamont Bakersfield, Vargas moved to Stockton six years ago to attend the University of the Pacific.

It was during a study abroad program at Lima, Peru where Vargas renewed her interest in the public service. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Danny Thomas Dunne Ruiz

Dunne-Ruiz is a retired police officer from Tracy, author of the Blue Mexican, a novel published in 2009 and currently works as English teacher at San Mary`s High School and the San Joaquin Delta College. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Danny Thomas Dunne Ruiz


Dunne-Ruiz is a retired police officer from Tracy, author of the Blue Mexican, a novel published in 2009 and currently works as English teacher at San Mary`s High School and the San Joaquin Delta College.

What started as a part time job at the Tracy Police Department, for the young Dunne-Ruiz turned into a police career of twenty years.

“I went from a dispatcher to a patrol man, to detective sergeant.”

Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Jose Cuevas

STOCKTON, CA – Downtown Stockton is a pivotal location for Jose Cuevas, it represents the middle of two worlds – a road to north Stockton one way known for its rich members of the community and a road leading the other directions – toward a bridge that has housed many of Stockton’s homeless or helpless. Continue reading

I Have a Voice:Ramon Medina-Building History

Medina leaves his Stockton home at four in the morning and heads to Oakland, California; the reason of his routine travel? To start a new day of work at a construction site —of one of the busiest bridges in the country— the new San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Gina Valadez

Gina Valadez is the director and founder of Bread of Life — a San Joaquin County food program.

“I printed some flyers early in the morning, passed them around the neighborhood letting people know that we were giving away groceries,” Valadez shared her duties during the morning when Bread of Life started in Stockton back in 2008.  “The first time we open our doors, we had 60 people outside our church.” Continue reading

I Have a Voice:Niki Smith

Born in Glendale California, Nicolette “Niki” Smith moved to Stockton at an early age.  As an adult, Smith has become strong Latina advocate in the community.  She is involved in multiple organizations including the Latina Democratic Club, the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery, she is an active member of Local Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and works at Head Start. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Dr. Noe Mora

Dr. Noe Mora, once a 10 year old immigrant from Mexico is now Dentist running his own family practice alongside with his wife Dr. Edith Mora in Stockton. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Gretel Quintero, Immigrant and Immigrant Advocate

Gretel Quintero: bwnews

(bw) Gretel Quintero poses near Bilingual Weekly office in Stockton California

CALIFORNIA – At 13 years old, Gretel Quintero came across the border from Mexico to the United States without documentation: her single mother had a dream of a better life for her children. Continue reading

Interview: Vietnam Veteran

 Soto in his library

(bw) STOCKTON, CA – Tracy Native and Veteran, Richard Soto’s began his life in the south side with his widowed mother and 4 siblings. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Daniel Raya- Ruiz

Daniel Raya- Ruiz is a 14 year old football player, his passion and dedication to the sport is slowly changing the stereotype that Latinos only play Fútbol (soccer) and not Football. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Maria Valdovinos

Maria Valdovinos is the instructor of the Ballet Folklorico “Raíces Mexicanas” (roots of Mexico), and a dancer with over fifteen years of experience. Continue reading

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