Being a compañera at Taller de Jose has allowed me to explore various levels of service to our communities. Every client that I’ve helped along their journey to change something that impacts their lives is very rewarding to me. I greatly appreciate that Taller has given me the opportunity to work with individuals who have so much hope, and are resistant to the barriers that cross between them and change they desire in their lives. Whether accompanying a client to court, to the hospital, or the social security office, I always feel appreciative that our mission allows us to continuously move and walk with people and be present to them.
A few weeks ago, I accompanied a client to the immigration office for their citizenship interview. The building where the interview was held is downtown, which is not an easy location for everyone to access. I was nervous before the moment came, but once we entered the office, and I served as the translator for this client I felt their self-determination as they faced this challenge that could have gone wrong in so many ways due to the language barriers and the not knowing what to expect. Lucky for me my client stayed calm and collected and I was able to harness some of their energy to keep myself calm and collected. As I mirrored my client’s composure that day I did everything in my power to make sure that I advocated for them. In the end, my client prevailed and was approved for citizenship status. I was so relieved and proud of my client. After all the barriers faced when working against systems that prevent one from moving forward, my client was the exemplar of what one can withstand and all that can be achieved with some perseverance.
These are true moments of resiliency and perseverance. I will always be thankful to Taller de José for allowing me to be present for these moments in people’s lives. The unique lessons I have learned and experiences I have been a part of continue to move and remind me how capable all of us can be if we just have a little bit of support.