Lía Patricia Gallo arrived in the U.S. 17 years ago and like most people that immigrate to the U.S., they are forced to work at any job they can just to get some food on the table. Gallo cleaned houses, but she was actually a dentist in her native country. Her world changed when a U.S. dentist offered her a job and even taught her how to speak English in exchange for her to teach him how to speak Spanish, reports Mundo Hispanico.
She didn’t practice for 7 years, but this new opportunity encouraged her to get her degree and she applied to the University of School of Dental Medicine, where she became one of 20 students accepted out of 2,800 applicants. By 2007, she earned her dentistry degree and she was officially able to practice her profession.
Dr. Gallo opened GDC Smiles, where she currently employs several Latinos, including two recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) program. In addition to working with Latinos, she works with organizations who refer her to people who need a second chance in life. She works with New Beginning and No Longer Bound, where she’s donated approximately $200,000 of free dental work to people recovering from drug addiction.