Friday, December 18, 2009

Today I had an encouraging moment.

Something I was dreading turned out to be fun and encouraging. I spoke in front of a group of college students today. Visiting on an endeavor to learn more about refugees and immigration issues, a group from UC Irvine has been spending the last few days meeting with different departments learning about all our services and the issues our clients face. Well, today was the Immigration Departments turn, in other words I was the one to step up to speak with them.

I wanted very much for it to be a discussion not me standing in front of a board group of individuals. One, I do not like holding the center of attention for too long, and two learning she be facilitated and therefore more fun and attention holding.

In a group of about 15 college students there was a diverse group of those who had immigrated, had family who had. There was the spectrum of majors from pre-med to pre-law, to engineer to Spanish majors.

We discussed the issues of immigration, the language barriers, the costs the triumphs and the challenges. The asked good questions like "do you ever get desensitized to the problems clients face?". We talked about their futures, the present experiences of the clients the immigration department serves and my past educational and career choices.

By the end of what I thought would be a 30 minute talk, but turned out to be an hour long discussion, the group agreed they all felt inspired by the weeks learning experience and discussion to work if not for the organization I work for, at least within the international community. It was encouraging to hear. It was also great to hear that they saw the joy and love of the job and people we serve from each other representatives from all the different departments within our organization. Its true too, we all love what we do, or we wouldnt be here.

And so I was encouraged.


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