Final Reflection From Lauren Snell

December 10, 2012

Lauren Snell

Three months ago, I was indeed a different person. I had a desire to help the world in any way I could but did not have much direction or much support to figure out how to do that. Presently I sit here typing my last reflection as Migration Research Intern and I think how much I have personally changed over this short time period.

This opportunity has given me the chance to experience many 1st’s. My first day as an intern, I went to my 1st solidarity march for the Caravan for Peace and my first Senate Hearing.  I learned how to write my first blog, action alert, and letter to Congressman. I also went to my 1st visit on the Hill. Every step of the way, I gave thanks, because I have felt so grateful to be part of an organization that gives individuals opportunities to explore, connect with others, and express that faith can be part of social justice.

Through this internship, I have valued myself more in the fight against injustice. I have learned I can help others in various ways and not just read newspapers about the problems around the world and say I can solve them someday; in reality, I can take steps to solve them now. By minimizing the distance between myself and others more vulnerable, one can see how precious Catholic Social Teachings are, guiding us to become one human family that takes care of one another, whether through the support of migration or advocacy for the complete abolishment of human trafficking.

My experience here at the Columban Center of Advocacy and Outreach has developed more and more the power of my faith. From weekly reflections within the office to vigils with those affected by gun violence in Mexico, I have felt a lot more connected to others through my faith. When I was forced to face challenges in the past, I would look to faith as an individual most of the time.  Being in college and away from home has been a hard transition for me even after three full year; For some reason, I thought I had to face everything alone. I could not see that the importance of faith revolves around both the individual and the community. This revelation has made me a lot happier and much more empowered to work together with others whether the goal is more personal or communal.

Due to my experience here as a Migration Research Intern, I would like more than anything else work within the education and community development field. Additionally, I would like to work in organizations that aid both immigrants and refugees. I have witnessed in and out of the office how knowledge of others’ struggles can conquer injustice in the realms of racism, prejudice, and inequality; Moreover, I would like to continue the spread of this knowledge even after my time here at the center because I know that knowledge trumps ignorance and for that reason, hope is sprung from the shadows of injustice.

All in all, I would like to thank those who have followed my blog, my co-workers at the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, my family, and friends for supporting me through this time of discovery. It has meant a lot to me to share my experience with all of you.