At the impressionable age of seven, my father brought my four-year-old brother and me on a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico. Although I wasn’t able to accomplish many influential tasks at that age, the cultural experience was one that shaped me to be who I am today. I saw early on what it means to be a Christian, motivated by God’s unconditional love for all. On that mission trip and subsequent mission trips to Mexico and Kenya, as well as serving in my parish as an assistant teacher for the Confirmation class and as a volunteer collecting donations for shelters, I have been touched by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Growing up in southeast Texas, immigration issues were constantly being brought up. During my mission trips in Mexico, I met people living in extreme poverty, struggling with health issues, life threatening pollution, and social injustices. Surrounded by these problems, I knew I could not spend a life sitting on the sidelines.
The most magnetic force that pulls my interest to the CCAO is the ability to combine faith and service. My home church has the slogan “Sharing the life changing power of Jesus Christ every day, in every way.” I want to do that in Washington, D.C. through of advocacy for immigrants. I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had in my life, and I am excited to join the Columbans in the call to welcome the stranger and to work for justice for immigrants.