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"She always worked," How a single mother inspired a local non-profit

And how the organizers put the sister in No Sister Left Behind
Dorothy Smith after graduating from Bakersfield College with her nursing degree.
Posted at 6:30 AM, Feb 08, 2024
  • Glenda smiles at her sister Linda after I ask them about what it's like working together at the non-profit. "As I often tell her, I don't know how I would make it without her," she says.
  • In this story, 23ABC's Ava Kershner sits down with the sisters behind the organization, No Sister Left Behind.

Meet Glenda and Linda.
Two sisters from Bakersfield running the non profit No Sister Left Behind.

An organization that focuses on the wellbeing of black women, and improving “Their mind, you know we focus on determination, their mindset, on mindfulness,” said Glenda Woolfolk, CEO, President, and Founder of No Sister Left Behind. 

No Sister Left Behind works with organizations like Kern Family Healthcare and City Serve to provide healing heart trauma peer groups and support for black women getting a higher education.

And it was all inspired by their mother, who according to her daughters, was the definition of determination.

“Our mom raised us, and she was a janitor. And she decided because times were getting rough, she decided to go back to school, to nursing school and get her LVN license. And that allowed us to be able to purchase a car, we never had a car she never drove, so it was really a blessing to our family,” said Linda Factory, the Financial Officer for No Sister Left Behind.

The sisters tell me their mother worked from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. as a janitor, went to school throughout the day, and still made sure dinner was ready at night.

“She was your inspiration,” I said. 

 “She was,” said Woolfolk.

“What was her name?” I ask. 

 “Dorothy Smith,” said Woolfolk.

Dorothy’s legacy of higher education made such an impact on her daughter’s lives, that now they work for women like her.

“But when you look at it, and you try to fill a void within the community, what I saw was nothing pertaining to the black women’s health, our mother raised us by herself, but you know there were times that she did cry because she couldn’t, she didn’t have the money,” said Woolfolk.

When it comes to the wellbeing of black women, the sisters say that healing for yourself, also helps the next generation to come.

“Look at the history of the black woman in America, things that were kind of handed down from generation to generation. If we don’t address those things, we will just hand it down to the next generation,” said Woolfolk.

For more information on No Sister Left Behind, you can visit their website.


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