By Joe Alex Vazquez, Social Work Intern Compañero
My time at Taller de José is coming to an end; I have gained a lot from this experience and will always remember it. I came in with no expectations, ready to learn and absorb everything that I possibly could. Now I have gained confidence in my work and what I can offer as a Compañero. In this office space, I have been successful, but I have also had several struggles. Both are all part of the learning process and I truly appreciate them.
When I first arrived at Taller De José, I was nervous about the work I was going to be doing. Everything was new to me, and I wanted to make sure I did my very best. However, the staff at Taller De José supported and provided me with a variety of skills that helped me as a Compañero. I have also obtained skills that I will carry with me as a professional in the social work field.
I am proud to say that I have helped many clients reach their goals, whether that be with financial assistance, seeking health services, accompanying in zoom courts, or applying for benefits. My most memorable moment at Taller De José would be my first accompaniment with a client for her oath ceremony to become a U.S. citizen. I was not there with her during the process, but I was able to see her hard work and commitment pay off when she achieved her goals. It was an honor to be able to provide support for her to accomplish this.
I’ve also had the pleasure to advocate for clients in intimidating settings such as court hearings via Zoom. These opportunities opened my eyes that miscommunication due to language barriers can have severe consequences. In one case, I was able to step in and help clear up a miscommunication. My support prevented my client from being looked at differently or possibly not qualifying for the representation she was seeking.
To conclude, I would like to say that it has been an honor being a Compañero here at Taller De José, and I hope this organization continues to change and make people’s lives easier.
Joe Alex Vazquez