Past Student Experiences:
I believed that I knew all about migration and poverty, but it wasn’t until I volunteered at Catholic Charities that I faced real migrants, hunger, and isolation. I became conscious of the importance of culturally-sensitive services.
Estefania Arreguin, Communications, Spring 2008
I think when I get back to Mexico I will be a totally different person. These are the experiences that not only help you professionally but also personally. And I don’t mean it like “Ok, I’ve done something good for someone, now I feel better,” but that you actually grow as a person, you start to care about others, to respect others, help as much as you can, don’t judge or discriminate for any reason. Never talk bad about anyone without getting to know him or her first, because you might get surprised…. it helped me be more mature… I learned how to live alone, far from mom and dad who gave me everything, washed my clothes, etc. I learned a lot about myself, how to be more patient and tolerant when living with other people that I barely knew… All these things together helped me realize who I am and who I want to be. Not only as person but as a professional too… Made me realize that there are a lot of problems and needy people in this world that I have the chance to help, not only here in Chicago, but in Mexico too.
Maitane Celorio, Nutrition, Fall 2011
Definitely these opportunities make you a better human being. First of all, because I consider myself lucky to stand where I am; second, I can say I took advantage of the program to learn about the possibilities I’ve got in life to help others. I think no money would be enough to make me feel as good as a smile from a client makes me feel. Their smiles are real and hide nothing but happiness.
Gonzalo Terán, International Relations, Spring 2013
My experience in Chicago with the Ibero program has been amazing on both a personal and professional level. It did not only meet my expectations but exceeded them in ways I am sure I have yet to discover… I came here as an immigrant in order to work with immigrants who were in a completely different situation to mine. This, in general, was very challenging. I got to compare my situation with theirs, to realize that I could say “I miss this but I am going home” while they couldn’t. This sort of “parallel experience” with the women made me feel much more empathy and compromise towards the work I did here. It made me understand that sometimes you have to leave things behind in order to adapt and to build a new and happy life. I understood the reason for “Spanglish” and for a new culture that isn’t Mexican or American but something in between. I realized the reason and need for a community where you feel that you belong. This, and so much more, has made me discover the thousands of dimensions and impacts of migration and, slowly, start to decipher where I stand with it.
Valeria De La Rosa, Psychology, Spring 2015
The students in the ITSP help the individuals and families we serve feel more connected to their homeland. Children, especially in our afterschool programs, have positive role models in the university students [serving] as tutors, and parents are grateful for the Mexican culture that the Ibero students share. The program is truly transformative for our Ibero students as well. They become sensitized to a different reality and leave wanting to do more in their home country.
Dalia Rocotello, Director of Latino Affairs at Catholic Charities