Glenda Flores, Northern Virginia 2017

Glenda Flores has always wanted to be a pediatrician, but when she shared that goal with her school counselor, she was told it wasn’t a realistic choice given her grades, financial situation, and background. So when Glenda joined Urban Alliance, her confidence was shaken, and she planned to pursue nursing instead.

Glenda had the opportunity to intern at Doorways for Women and Families, an organization that helps women and children dealing with homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She loved working there, and happily took on any project she was given, big or small, from creating PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets to helping with events and donations. But most of all, she loved working with the children there.

When Urban Alliance staff heard that Glenda had been discouraged from her dream career, and saw the obvious pleasure she got from spending time with kids at Doorways, they took action. UA staff told Glenda not to let anyone undermine or undervalue her, and that she was capable of achieving anything she put her mind to if she worked for it. The pep talk, combined with Glenda’s new-found confidence gained during her internship, changed her mind.

Unafraid to dream again of becoming a pediatrician, Glenda put her new networking skills to use and got to know a child therapist at Doorways who taught her some basics of child psychology. “I want to be a pediatrician; I just want to know as much as kids as possible,” she said.

Glenda is now a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College and plans to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University to earn a bachelor’s degree. And she is determined to become a pediatrician.

“Urban Alliance is a great organization, and I haven’t heard of anything else like it,” Glenda said. “It’s a one-time opportunity that not everyone gets, so I was fortune enough to have that and I would jump at the opportunity if it were ever to come my way again.”