WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Working as a Waitress, Dreaming of a Career in Medicine

Play associated audio
Fernanda Fortiz, 22, is juggling undergraduate studies in biology with a waitressing job and caring for her teenage sister.
Tara Boyle
Fernanda Fortiz, 22, is juggling undergraduate studies in biology with a waitressing job and caring for her teenage sister.

Fernanda Fortiz was 17 years old when her mother concluded that life in El Salvador was too dangerous for her daughter. Gang violence was a problem there, and she wanted Fortiz to return to the United States, where she was born.

"My parents separated when I was 5, so my mom went back to El Salvador, and she took me," says Fortiz. "And when I was 17, she sent me back because it was too dangerous to be there and she just wanted me to have a better future."

Fortiz is working hard to make that dream a reality. Now 22, she juggles college studies in biology with a full-time job as a waitress.

"I also take care of my teenage sister who lives with me," she says. "So yeah, I have a lot of things on my plate."

Fortiz is finishing up studies at Montgomery College and will enroll at the University of Maryland in College Park this fall. She eventually wants to work in medicine or global health, and says she now considers Washington her home.

"I do consider myself a Washingtonian," she says. "I have learned to love this city. I like the good things and the bad things about it, and I would definitely want to stay here, yes."


[Music: "Confesion (Romanza)" by Alexander Sergei Ramirez on Barrios Mangore Confesion]

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference.
WAMU 88.5

Democratic National Convention Day Two: Uniting The Party

An update on day two of the Democratic convention: Bill Clinton takes the stage and ongoing efforts by party leaders to build unity.

WAMU 88.5

How To Help Teens And Children Fight 'Tech Addiction'

Many parents and therapists say obsessive internet use is a very real problem for some teens and children. But the term “internet addiction” is controversial and not officially recognized as a disorder. How to help kids who compulsively use computers and mobile technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.