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

'Top Gear' Returns With New Hosts On BBC America

The massively popular BBC show, Top Gear, relaunches Monday on BBC America. Following the painfully public downfall of its former host, the new hosts have big gears to grind.
NPR

'Sweetbitter' Is A Savory Saga Of Restaurant Life And Love

Oysters, cocaine, fine wine, love triangles: Stephanie Danler's debut novel Sweetbitter follows a year in the life of a young woman working at a top-tier Manhattan restaurant.
WAMU 88.5

Ralph Nader: The Future Of The Progressive Movement In The D.C. Region

Iconic consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader joins us for a conversation about civic engagement, the role of the media, and the future of the progressive movement in the D.C. region.

WAMU 88.5

Hillary Clinton's Emails

Hillary Clinton is under pressure after a State Department report criticized her use of a private email server: what's in the report, potential security risks and whether it could affect Secretary Clinton's bid for the White House.

Leave a Comment

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