Like all of us, Delora Sanchez's past experiences have helped to shape her. However, Delora made a decision that they would propel rather than constrain her! She recognizes those who have invested in her life, and is working to do the same in the lives of others, especially young girls. Delora’s career in law provides her opportunities to lobby on behalf of many clients, including nonprofits. She relishes the joy of mentoring and of “giving back”. We think you will be inspired to do the same, after you read today’s featured C-Suite Inside The Office profile!
What is your "day job"?
I am a Government Relations Professional. I am an attorney by training, but I am not currently practicing. My work involves government affairs and lobbying, providing services to clients, including nonprofits. My tasks include representing them before the state general assembly and the executive branch, on issues of policy. I help to interpret legislation, and also work to provide advocacy on legislation.
I am located in the Annapolis, MD branch of a national lobbying firm.
Who were your heroes, or mentors?
There has always been a strong black woman in my life, mentoring me and ushering me through tough times. This has been the case in every stage of life, even when I was younger. I entered into foster care as an orphan, and from that point on, I have had heroes and mentors from Delta Sigma Theta, as well as other women along the way, who have been tenacious in supporting both my personal and professional life.
When did you decide you were a government relations professional, that this would be your journey?
The decision to become an attorney came during my pursuit of my undergraduate degree; that is when I became interested in policy. That was just the beginning. I was enchanted with the idea of framing policy and law from the outset, and also became very interested in shaping policy on a very large scale. The doorway to what I am doing now, was learning about what needed to be changed in healthcare, but then that scope grew. Once my interest was piqued, I came to understand that every aspect of our lives is touched by policy. Being able to influence that policy is huge.
If you weren't doing this work, what would life look like?
I love decorating, so if I were not doing the work I am involved, in, I might find myself focused on something more visually creative. However, I don’t think I would ever come away from some kind of advocacy, or working with foster children in some capacity.
If you had it all to do over again, would you do anything differently?
I view that as kind of beyond my control, but I believe I would have focused more in my math courses. I enjoyed reading and writing, and both were second nature; however, my mind is still very analytical. If I had had that science and math base, I would have gone into hard sciences. I’m very interested in STEM, but I just don’t have the propensity for it. Ultimately, though, I am satisfied with the path I am on.
What do you do for you that brings you absolute joy or peace?
To be honest, I really like being able to share with someone else what was given to me. Through my work, I support corporations and government entities. The real joy and benefit--the real payoff--is when you talk to a child in foster care, or are able to change policy related to foster care. Another source of joy is having a mentee and helping them understand that they are capable of more, because they see themselves in you. You can’t bottle that up and sell it. When I can talk to a young lady who is saying “I can’t…”, and have the opportunity to drill down and help her see that I, too, have experienced those same things, and that there is nothing really different between the two of us, and that I believe she can--to see the light “turn on” in her eyes, is everything.
What would you like your epitaph to be?
“She left things better than she found them.” I’m not a perfect person, but hopefully I will have made a contribution. That is what we are here for. We are here to contribute, not just take away. That is my hope.
In one word, what is it that you want people to remember about you?
Is there anything else you wish I'd asked you?