Internship Spotlight: GLIDE Emerging Leader

Marlen Canales in front of a GLIDE sign


One important element of helping our students become career-ready is to help them build professional development and gain work experience. We’re thrilled to support our students in securing internships that are connected to their personal and professional interests, and thankful to organizations like GLIDE to make this happen.

GLIDE is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.

Marlen Canales, class of 2020, is spending her summer as a GLIDE Emerging Leader. She plans to go to medical school after graduating, and her work at GLIDE has helped her learn more about ensuring the well-being of patients through harm reduction.

Read more about what Marlen has learned at GLIDE and where she hopes to go next below.


Q: What are you doing as a Glide Emerging Leader?

A: During my internship at GLIDE, I will be working with the Harm Reduction program. I help assist the free Syringe Access Services (S.A.S), go on outreach to provide clients with Harm Reduction supplies, shadow and help assist HIV/HEP C testing and clean up syringes in the San Francisco community. Glide is a non-profit foundation that provides services to create a true radically inclusive space for everyone no matter what their differences or struggles are.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your internship so far?

A: My favorite thing about my internship so far is being able to have direct interactions with clients. Working in S.A.S has allowed me to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge not only on the different types of supplies and their benefits, but on how to interact with clients and how to show my compassion. I am continuously learning on a daily basis in how to better myself to be a better resource for others. The staff make it a great learning experience where I am able to be very interactive in the different services in Harm Reduction and also help me gain so much knowledge on those services and the issues that we can help improve.

Q: What career/profession would you like to pursue after graduating? Does this internship relate to your career/professional goals?

A: After graduating I plan to go to med school to continue to work towards my passion of being a doctor. Being with the Harm Reduction team has allowed me to experience the different forms of reducing harm and how meeting people where they are is an importance not only health wise, but in their lives as a whole. My passion strives from helping improve the well-being of clients and through the works of Harm Reduction, I’m able to put that passion to work.

Q: How has your internship helped you in your personal and professional growth?

A: Being at Glide has allowed me to grow in so many ways. Personally, I feel like I am more aware of the social issues that continue to marginalize people and I have been able to grow to love myself and spread that love and compassion to others. I am finally able to gain professional experience and knowledge about helping increase the well-being of others. Although it is not directly through a hospital, I think the work that I am doing through Harm Reduction is extremely impactful and is really doing the job that I have always been passionate about doing.


If you have connections at companies that want diverse, talented college students for summer internships, we’d love to hear from you! We also welcome entry level opportunities for our recent graduates, who have an 85% success rate of landing career-ladder opportunities or attending graduate school within a year of getting their degrees.