A Multicultural Dreamer

Taynara Goncalves has always dreamed of being a doctor — ever since she was a very young girl living in a little village in Brazil. It was hard to earn a living there, so when she was three years old, her family moved to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, because her father thought he could find work there and create a better life for his family. It wasn’t always easy for Taynara—some of the local people resented new immigrants and feared that their presence might limit their own economic opportunities. But others offered support. Learning about the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative was a turning point for Taynara. There she found friends, mentors, and guidance toward her unwavering goal. Today she works as a medical assistant in the Island Health Care Center, and is preparing to fulfill her dream by applying to medical school and becoming a doctor.