Historias y Noticias


dic. 18, 2023

Forging a New Path for Future Generations

As you read this, thousands of Latine community members in DC and Maryland are contending with violence, joblessness, homelessness, language barriers, and a lack of access to high quality, affordable healthcare.

Gilson Argueta knows these challenges all too well.

Gilson was just 15 years old, living and working on his family’s farm when his hometown was overtaken by regional gangs. He dodged bullets and evaded organized crime while harvesting corn after school. There was no way for him to realize his dreams until he found passage to the U.S. Alone and afraid, he embarked on the dangerous journey from El Salvador to Hyattsville, Maryland, where his story with La Clínica began.

While at Northwestern high school, Gilson found his way to Mi Refugio, La Clínica’s trauma-informed youth development program for immigrant students and their families. He had excellent grades, but when Senior year rolled around, he had no idea how to apply to college.

With the help of Mi Refugio, he applied for and received two college scholarships that accepted all deserving students, regardless of their immigration status. After high school, he volunteered with Mi Refugio, helping three additional Latine students get college scholarships.

Today, Gilson is a college graduate and a member of La Clínica’s operations team, making things run smoothly and lifting up our community wherever he goes. We couldn’t be more grateful for him.

Community members like Gilson, who were once clients at La Clínica, make up the majority of our workforce. They’re how we exist, our talent pool and the heartbeat of our organization. They motivate and inspire us to keep striving and working for a better health system, and future.

Whether it’s the next generation of Gilsons seeking new opportunity or our dedicated staff that continue to hone their skills through La Clínica, it will take all of us to continue to fuel their growth as leaders and help ensure they have the resources needed to effectively respond to the issues and challenges our clients face.

May we continue to pave the way for each rising young person like Gilson, continue to advocate and work for a level of care that equals belonging, and continue to break down the barriers that exclude too many immigrants from reaching their greatest health and brightest future.