2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
In Norfolk, Gloria Morales works as a liaison for the Hispanic community, developing community-based violence prevention programs and other materials to educate the Latino population there.
Born and raised in Colombia, Ms. Morales immigrated to the United States in 1999, searching for a better life. Three years later, she became a caseworker for the faith-based non-profit Refugee and Resettlement Organization in Richmond. While there, she helped Cuban refugees assimilate into the American culture and was subsequently promoted to program coordinator.
Since then, she has been working with public safety officials to improve communication and prevent misunderstandings with the Hispanic community.
In 2006, Ms. Morales was hired as the coordinator of the Network for Latino People (NFLP), a community coalition comprised of 29 member organizations. As a result of her efforts, the coalition has doubled in size and includes 59 law enforcement, immigration, legal, civic, and school agencies and officials working to identify and support the needs of the Spanish-speaking population in Williamsburg, Virginia.
She recently established NFLP’s Community and Medical Interpretation Service as a viable and sustainable program. As a result, the NFLP has been awarded an additional $20,000 by the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation, a 20 percent increase in program support from previous years.
Through her work, Ms. Morales remains accessible to and committed to meeting the needs of the Latino community. In August 2010, she achieved her 10-year dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.