Coming into Amate, you could say that I was lost. After a challenging graduate school program that left me with more questions than answers, I was unsure of where to go next. To face this uncertainty, I fell back on my Jesuit spirituality. Trusting in the sense of peace and fire in my heart, I was led to the city of Chicago.
For my year of service, I was placed at the Marjorie Kovler Center. Here, I work as a case manager, coordinating education, psychiatry, and legal referrals for survivors of torture. These individuals come to the United States seeking refuge and asylum, deeply traumatized by experiences that no person should have to go through…and at the same time bearing incredible strength and resilience despite what they have gone through.
My experience at Kovler has fundamentally changed who I am. Whether it be offering a client a cup of coffee, accompanying them to an appointment, or listening to them as they share their story, I have born witness to the healing power of compassion and presence. Informed by these experiences, I now know where I want to go next. After Amate, I intend on pursuing a master’s in social work, so that I can provide trauma informed care to refugees and migrants in the future. In essence, my year of service gave me a sense of direction; and for that I am grateful.