MEET jcira's outreach coordinator
JCIRA is pleased to welcome Natalia Durán, our new outreach coordinator. Natalia is helping JCIRA build more bridges across the community. She began work on May 23 and immediately initiated a new program to help immigrant families send kids to summer camps. Natalia will be a big help as we move forward.
Here is the piece she wrote when she introduced herself to us:
I always dreamed of becoming for others, the kind of person who showed me the world in a larger way, like my teacher Fernando who took us on the best field trips I could have as a child in México, and changed little by little, how I saw life’s possibilities. Since I was a teenager, I was passionate about social justice. Little did I know I would be doing this in a foreign country in a different language.
I started by volunteering at Dove House, which was an eye- opener to the needs of my community from a much closer experience. Whether because of fear, cultural differences or language, whatever the reason, many in the immigrant community don’t feel comfortable using services that are available. I knew I wanted to be there for someone in a more vulnerable situation.
A few years ago, people from JCIRA started coming to the coffee hour at my church to meet with the Hispanic community, to learn about our needs at a time when fear was increasing because of what was happening in this country politically. This kind of connection made us feel less isolated in our fears and an important part of a larger community. With that confidence we can dream even bigger, and help JCIRA dream bigger.
Some people, all they need is one opportunity to take it and soar.
JCIRA Outreach Coordinator
Photo credits: Personal photo from Natalia Durán. "Welcome refugees" balloon photo courtesy of John Englart (Takver), under Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA2.0).