Registration for Camp Hale Summer 2024 is now open - Enroll Today!

Women’s History Month Staff Spotlight: Dolores Ortiz

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

Dolores Ortiz, Vice President of Programs

Hometown
Bridgeport, CT

Tell us about the what you enjoy most about the work you’re doing and why it’s important.
What I enjoy most about the work is being part of a community that allows me to grow and learn every day. I grew up in a marginalized community and people really underestimate how much that can affect your perspective. I truly believed college or a career was meant for other people. It’s great to be in a role that exposes youth and families to all the possibilities and how to access other type of resources.

What attracted me most about coming to USES is the whole family approach. I relied on childcare and vouchers to help subsidize the expense. I had so much support to get to where I am. When I meet a young mother trying to find her path, she reminds me of me. My hope is that I can inspire other women to reject the notion that we don’t belong in executive positions.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in pursuing the work that’s important to you?
 The biggest challenge is TIME! I worked full time to support my two children and slowly chipped away at earning my Bachelors and eventually my Masters. It took about 12 years in all. I made it a part of my life so I wouldn’t think about how long it was taking. Before I knew it, I was walking across the stage while my two children were watching.

How does Women’s History Month connect to your work at USES?
My biggest hero was my grandmother who came to the U.S. on her own with two children from Puerto Rico. What she was able to do with so little money and resources is nothing short of a miracle. In comparison, I look like I’ve come so much farther, but in actuality I simply followed in her footsteps.

Hobbies/favorite song/movie/book/interesting fact
I will never outgrow hip hop even though it’s outgrown me. Listening to Public Enemy as a teenager in Bridgeport gave words to the injustice I felt but couldn’t verbalize. It was my first Sociology class. One of my favorite books is In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez.

Last news

USES Celebrates Harriet Tubman Day
Each year, USES recognizes Harriet Tubman Day (March 10th) to honor and remember Harriet’s bravery and heroics. During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 enslaved people to freedom. Although Harriet Tubman never lived in Boston, she had connections to the city through other abolitionist friends. One friend […]
Read more
Entrance to Camp Hale denoted by the sign in the shape of the logo in front of a beautiful line of trees, established 1900
Meet Camp Hale’s New Director
Trish Fogarty : Trish joined the USES and Camp Hale team in January 2024. We’re excited to have her onboard and meet all the campers this summer at Camp Hale! Get to know Trish through the Q&A below: Q: Where are you from/where did you grow up?A: I grew up in Wilbraham, MA, but have lived […]
Read more
club48’s NEW 3D Printing Club
This January, a new and exciting activity opened up for the kids of club48: 3D Design and Printing. Previously working on photography during the fall with USES’ community partner and friend, Pete Johannsen, the kids switched over to this new field with him as the changing seasons left them with less daylight for photos. Pete, […]
Read more