UNIV 190-003:Understanding Service and Social Justice: The Refugee Experience in America
During my time in UNIV 190, I was given the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of a refugee family. I was assigned a family with two parents, a grandmother, and two children of high school age. Throughout my second semester I would go to my refugees house with my partner Benjamin Gavin and help the two children with their homework. A typical experience would be the following; my partner and I would get ready around 4:30 to leave to the refugees house (by either taxi or public transportation) , arrive at the house and have small talk for about 15 minutes to 30 minutes, then one of the children would excuse himself to go to the kitchen and get some coffee and cookies or doughnuts. After this we would usually get to on to helping them with their homework. Then if they needed help with some cultural aspect or technological aspect of their lives we would do our best to help them. I believe that my personal actions and the actions of my partner Benjamin Gavin had a strong, lasting effect on the refugee family to which we were assigned. Our actions impacted the community in various ways. Our refugee family gave us knowledge or their culture and their life experiences, while at the same time we gave them knowledge about our culture and our life experiences. We made a difference by giving time and acknowledgment to a family that might have not received much with out us being there.
I believe that I can improve my actions for future service and social justice during my time at Loyola by continuing on my current path. I currently volunteer at the local Howard family shelter tutoring underprivileged children in subjects such as math, science, reading, and writing. Also I wish to continue my efforts to work with refugee families. I wish to understand more about the different cultures in Chicago, such as middle-eastern, eastern european, and asian. I want to learn more about the root conflicts and causes of their home town and what I can do to help with both the root causes and their new lives in America. I think I might be inspired to act as a voice and a place of refuge for those that are having a difficult time, or those that are being taking advantage of. Overall I believe that I have made a difference in the lives of a handful of people but I wish to expand my help to all that are deserving.