Health Science Technology: Adult Student
Young Woman With Vision
Amid the hustle and bustle of staff moving through the corridors of Presbyterian Hospital, one young woman stands out. She moves quickly with poise and self-confidence. Her job-restoring patients on the rehabilitation unit to their highest level of functioning.
Glendora Allen, a physical therapist, knows what it means to have a vision and accomplish a goal. Glendora knew she wanted to do something in health care because it was a way to assist others. "I love helping people." "It's like a 'high' for me to help someone," she comments.
As a senior in high school, Glendora enrolled in the Medical Apprentice Careers program (now known as Health Science Technology) at Metro Tech under the instruction of Ms. Carole Brown. Glendora recalls, "By going through the program (at Metro Tech) it gave me a chance to see different fields (in health care) and I think when I went to the Veterans Administration Hospital, that's when I realized I wanted to do physical therapy." "I saw wound care being done and that was what I wanted to do. I loved it and that's what brought me here," she continues.
Glendora's vision was not without its challenges. "I had a son at age 16 and moved out on my own at age 17." She lived by herself with her son during her senior year in high school.
"I guess my son was my motivation to everything I've done and that I'm still accomplishing right now." "Because I was raised by a single parent, my mom on her own, I had to look at my life that I had with her and say 'I have a son and I can either do this or do that' so I chose to step up to give him (my son) a better life than what I grew up on."
After graduating from Douglass High School in 1994, Glendora attended Langston University. During her first year at Langston she lived on campus returning home on weekends to be with her son. She describes this time as being pretty "laid back". "I wasn't frightened because I had already been on my own for a long period of time so staying focused was my biggest issue." "I had to stay focused to get through what I was doing." Glendora admits it was hard sharing a room with three other girls who had different attitudes and different ways of doing things. She can now reflect on that experience as being positive because her roommates were upper classmen and they helped her remain focused on her goal.
Glendora believes her biggest challenge was "people not thinking I would make it." The attitudes were "you have a child-go work to provide (for your child)." "They didn't think I could do both-go to work and go to school. I think that was the most challenging." Glendora recounts, "In some ways I think the system itself (was challenging)." "Trying to get assistance at times when I couldn't work because of school and the assistance wasn't provided." She continues, "It was difficult at those times-trying to find the next meal." "We had situations like that, but it all worked out in the end. I stayed focused and stayed on it."
Glendora describes herself as a very private person. She says, "I don't like bringing everybody into my situations." "I basically did everything on my own. If I had a problem I did more writing than anything just letting my feelings out that way."
Glendora, a young woman with vision, attributes her success to her faith as well as staying focused on her dream. "I have a strong background as a Christian. I go to church-a lot of praying." "You know, God is in this a whole lot. Sometimes I sit on my bed and cry and hold the Bible and try to read a verse that makes me feel better." "God just keeps me going. I have to keep my faith and be strong." "You have to really believe. If you doubt…….you won't succeed."
Glendora's advice to other young people: "Set your mind to what you want and set it as high as you want to set it. And then go for it. No matter what people tell you, you can do anything you set your mind to do."