Monday, April 20, 2009


You can kind of see me in the background here...

Hamilton is a coworker of mine, and Sara is an awesome intern at HIWJ.

Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the DREAM Act! It gives undocumented students who have been in the U.S. for at least a few years and graduated from a U.S. high school a legal status and path to citizenship if they go to at least 2 years of college or serve in the military. This could make a huge difference in a lot of people's lives.

Friday, April 17, 2009

My future

I know, I know, I'm terrible at blogging. As I believe I've mentioned here, I don't have internet access at home, so fortunately my lack of posting means that I'm not completely neglecting work while I'm in my office, and I'm spending my time at home with people rather than my computer. That's a pretty good reason, I think.

Anyway, I wanted to let the world know that I have decided to do a second year of JVC, and this week my placement was confirmed. I'll be living in Santa Clara and working at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County in San Jose. My job title will be Refugee Resettlement Case Manager/Volunteer Liaison:

"As a member of the Refugee Resettlement Team, provides case management 'core services' for newly arriving refugees and will work as part of a team to help refugees in finding, retaining, and upgrading their employment. This position will also work as liaison to our network of faith based volunteers and resettlement staff. This is an outstanding opportunity for someone who values other cultures and beliefs and is interested in working with a diverse, dedicated and wonderful team."

Some of my current roommates work with refugees and love it. I'm very excited to be in such a global environment. I currently work mainly with Latin American immigrants, which has been wonderful, but I will be working with people from Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, Burundi, and many other countries. I'm really looking forward to learning about different parts of the world. I'm also excited about the volunteer liaison part of it, because I will be able to build off my work experience as an Advocate for Community Engagement at USF.

One thing I'm a little hesitant about is moving from an organization that does a lot of advocacy and has a goal of social change, not just social services, to an organization and job that really is just about social services. There's a lot of value in social services, as long as they're done in a way that's empowering to the recipient of the services, and not just creating a dependency that perpetuates inequalities in the system. I'll make it work though. :-)

It will also be very weird going from a two-year-old organization with only five people on staff, only three of whom are full time (including me), to a huge, well-established organization with lots of resources. When I was first contacted by someone there to set up an interview, she asked me to email her administrative assistant to set up the time. My first reaction was - they have administrative assistants?!

I'm really happy to be moving back to the Bay Area. I've hardly spent any time in San Jose, so it will be a new city to me, but at the same time I will be close to my family and friends in the East Bay and San Francisco. You all will have to come down and visit me because public transportation will be very pricey on a JVC stipend. I talked to a girl who's a JV there now, and she told me they live about a block away from Santa Clara University in an old convent. I'm excited. :-)

On a side note, I gave in and joined Twitter. If you want to follow me, I'm here.