A Dream of Helping Others

Amber Gonzalez-Vargas (Supervisor), Senior Program Manager – Latino Community Foundation; Leydi Romero, Enterprise for Youth intern and Student – San Francisco State; Anne Shepherd (Mentor), Co-Founder of Him for Her

The team at UCSF’s ALBA Labs informed us that our 2019 Heroes at Work keynote speaker, Leydi Romero, will in fact be welcomed as an intern this summer whether their clinic and research center are physically open or not. We want to celebrate our first secured virtual internship and thank our partners at UCSF! We are grateful for their commitment.

Leydi is an Enterprise youth who first participated in the Spanish-language job readiness training at Mission High School. From there, her first Enterprise internship was under the able guidance of Amber at the Latino Community Foundation. Due to her dedication and warmth, Leydi was selected to join Enterprise’s Youth Council, a program that trains youth in leadership. In March 2019, Leydi delivered the keynote address at our annual dinner, Heroes at Work.

In her address to a rapt audience, Leydi talked about reuniting with her father after being apart for years. She also shared her dream of going into the medical field to help others.

This past summer, Leydi completed her Enterprise internship in our long-standing program at Kaiser where she discovered that being with newborn babies was incredibly joyful, confirming her decision to become a pediatrician.

With Leydi’s deep connection to Enterprise, I am inspired to share with you that she secured a UCSF internship via a video interview. Even if the office is not physically open this summer, she will research Dyslexia and Primary Progressive Aphasia with an interdisciplinary team of local neurologists, radiologists, neuropsychologists, speech-language pathologists, bioengineers, and researchers to better understand both her future field and the incredible workings of our brains.

Leydi’s story is emblematic of many of the young people Enterprise supports. Leydi grew up in El Salvador with her mother and her grandfather. Before Leydi was born, her father moved to the United States in search of a better life for his family. At 10 years-old, Leydi met her father in person for the first time when he visited them in El Salvador. Several years later due to increasing gang violence, Leydi and her mother came to the United States. Leydi enrolled at Mission High School without being able to speak English and was in class with newcomer youth her first year. By tenth grade, Leydi was in regular classes and by her senior year, Leydi was taking AP classes and thinking about college. Leydi is now attending San Francisco State. Her career goal is to become a pediatrician.

The entire Enterprise community is so proud of Leydi, and her success brings us joy and motivation. The entire Enterprise community is so grateful to the clinicians and researchers at UCSF for opening their doors to Enterprise youth for years. And, thank you, especially this year, for adapting in very challenging circumstances so that Leydi’s professional path continues.

And, UCSF: We celebrate you. We thank you. You make our work of inspiring and educating the next generation of professionals possible, and I hope that more teams will be able to keep youth in their midst, even if it is through a screen.

Nínive Calegari