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Hans Sandoval
EXPL: 390
01/24/2017
Professor Miller

This semester I plan to use the depth of knowledge that I acquired in my first semester at

my internship to further challenge myself and to make my internship experience even greater. In

the first semester of my internship, I learned from scratch from virtually no previous knowledge

about refugees and the work of refugee resettlement. From getting used to the office work and

different computer programs and filing systems that are used by my internship site to getting

accustomed to working with refugees and the different backgrounds they come from, I learned so

much in so little time. As a result of this, I plan to challenge myself now that I have the

confidence that I have gained by the experience of my first semester. I strive to push myself both

personally and professionally this semester.

There exist many challenges that I would like to take on this second semester. The most

important challenge I would like to take on is that of getting comfortable and more confident

with phoning doctors offices and doing field work. I found that scheduling medical

appointments for the clients gives me a lot of anxiety. The reason for this is that it takes multiple

steps to be able to make an appointment for a client. The first thing I have to do is call the client

to see what time he or she is available to go to the doctors office. This is problematic in itself

because if the client needs translation I need to use phone interpretation which can be awkward

because having to use a second person to tell the client what I say can be difficult. When that is

done, I need to call the doctors office and attempt to get the appointment time that me and the

client agreed upon. My experience talking to the doctors offices that serve the clients has been

very bad and frustrating. They tend to be very unprofessional and downright rude. I want to
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commit to not have the difficulty of making appointment for clients stop me from doing what I

have to do to serve them.

Similarly, I am responsible for taking the clients to those doctors appointments, which is

even more stressful for me. On the day of these appointments, I have to meet the parent at his or

her home and then walk them to their childrens school to pick up the kid for early dismissal,

which shockingly is a very time consuming process. The school administration at the schools

Ive been to are very slow and it has taken me sometimes forty five minutes to get a child out of

school. Also, sometimes I need to visit two schools in one day because the client has children in

both elementary school and high school. Finally, after I have picked up all of the children, I need

to get them to the doctors appointment on time. I need to do all this by walking every step of the

way, which wastes so much time. I want to commit to being more patient with this process and to

be more confident in my ability to doing field work. Taking clients to doctor visits is a vital

component of the K-12 program, and I realize that me not being at ease with this part of my

internship does not work.

I envision that me becoming at ease with the tasks that I have described above at my

internship will give me a higher sense of accomplishment and more importantly will have me be

of better service to the clients. My main purpose for taking on this internship was to make a

difference and my ability to succeed in every aspect and requirement at my internship will assist

me to realize this purpose. I plan to grow at ease at these requirements of my internship by

extensively and responsibly planning out and organizing the field work I have to do and be in

communication with my supervisor if I have any problems. This will help me develop my

organizational skills that will further assist me at becoming a better and more skilled

professional. Similarly, I know that by me committing to be more at ease at these tasks of my


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internship that I will become even more fulfilled in the work that I am doing. I believe that these

challenges that I have committed to taking on will challenge me intellectually, emotionally, and

socially because the work of refugee resettlement is intersectional and involves many skills and

diverse knowledge.

Paul Loebs Pieces of Vision possesses many insightful and well-constructed

reflections on society and what can be done to create a just and good society for all. For me, a

just society is one in which everyone has equal access to opportunity and resources and is judged

based on his or her character. In the essay, a description of a good and just society is said to be

one in which everyone has access to food, housing, and medical care and where everyone can

live in peace without fear of violence. Freedom of expression also makes up a just society

because only when people can express themselves and especially their grievances can a just

society be secured. The rights enshrined in the UNs Universal Declaration of Human Rights are

seen to be one of the best models to base a just and good society (258).1 I would agree with all of

the criteria put forth by the essay for a good society that I describe above. These certainly are the

values and priorities that I would use to construct what for me is a just and good society.

However, I think the principle of freedom of expression is the most important freedom needed in

a society to make it just and to also allow social justice to prosper. The reason that I say this is

that for me freedom of expression is the freedom that allows all other freedoms to be achieved

and acquired. Without freedom of expression, the people and citizenry of a country cannot air

their grievances to their government and demand change without the fear of persecution. Social

justice is also greatly impeded without guaranteed freedom of expression since the very nature of

1 Paul Rogat Loeb, Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times
(New York: St. Martin's Griffin Press, 2010), 258
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social justice goes against the status quo and lack of freedom of expression makes social justice

difficult to flourish in society.

Another topic that the essay spoke about that really struck me was that of the need to become a

less individualistic society and create a society in which social needs of others and individuals

are met as well.2 The specific topic of labor and economy in the US was very interesting because

the essay talked about how in the US Americans are made to work long hours with very little

vacation time to take a break from the demands of work and to focus on the family. It compared

US work customs to European work customs in which Europeans work significantly less hours a

week and have guaranteed month vacations. The author praised the European system because he

saw it as the European economys recognition and respect for human dignity and social needs

and a rejection of materialistic consumerism in which people spend most of their time working

instead of enjoying life. This argument struck me as very important for a just society because it

acknowledged that human beings are not commodities for labor. This acknowledgement, I

believe, provides the best opportunity for humans to live to the fullest without being slaves to the

economy.

The second topic that interested me in the essay was that of guaranteeing health care for

all. The facts presented in the essay about the amount of people who lack health insurance and

the consequences of that like infant mortality really made me think that health care should be a

right because it is the right to life.3 Health insurance and access to health services can mean the

difference of life and death for some people and the denial of this to me is egregious. Just like the

discussion about US labor conditions and expectations, I see the lack of access to health care in

2 Ibid, 259

3 Ibid, 271
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the US as a greater symptom of how American society has failed in many ways to respect the

human side and dignity of the American people and see people as commodities in the economy

or as expendable when it comes to life and death. US society operates to often as if people are

just numbers on spread sheets and does not take in to consideration the personal side and needs

of every person. I believe that their needs to be a greater focus and respect for human dignity in

US society in order to create a good society. This is where I see social justice come in. US social

justice should transform American society from an individualistic society to a more altruistic

society in which human dignity is the template by which society operates. I believe that the

change needed to create a just and good society can come from all different areas of society

rather that be political, economic, psychological, or societal. However, I do believe that there

should be an emphasis on creating social change at the political level. Much of the great

triumphs of social change in the recent past have been done at the political level. Achievements

like same sex marriage, climate change response, civil rights etc have all been achieved at the

political level.

For me personally, I have a vision for the communities in which I live in and work in.

Admittedly, it is difficult for me to determine which communities I feel I belong to and which

ones I actually want to actively assist. Although I am not invested in being active in the

community and neighborhood that I live in, I am invested in being active in a few communities

in which I sure identities. I am very passionate about being active in the first-generation college

student community. I have been active by being a STARS mentor and also a Bridge to Loyola

peer mentor. I see my role in this community as one of being an asset and role model that can

assist those in this community in their journey in college to succeed. I have learned in my work

with first-generation college students that this community is very complex and has many needs
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that are very specific to it. Even though I am a first-generation college student myself, I have

found that the experiences of first-generation college students are very distinct and varied. I have

seen how my experiences in this community are only one story in thousands of stories that make

up this community, which can make working in this community hard. However, my vision for

this community is to make it so that first-generation college students can graduate from college

and not be impeded from doing so just because of the challenges that being a first-generation

college student has. My vision is that this community can come together and aspire for

excellence in education and be able to inspire others in the education field to take this

community seriously.

In relation to the refugee children community that I work with, my vision for that

community is that these children will be able to overcome the difficulties from their past that

caused them and their families to come to the US as refugees and also be able to break out of

their present condition through education. I believe that education in combination with dedicated

mentorship and support can give refugee children access to countless advantages and resources

that will help them achieve and become productive contributing members of society. I plan to

contribute to this vision by working on the areas of improvement that I spoke about in the

beginning of this paper. I also believe that by educating myself about refugees as I have been

doing during my internship that I can educate others about refugees so that people can get to

understand the realities of refugees that I have had the privilege of knowing. I believe knowledge

is power, and so I believe by telling people about my experiences with refugee children that I can

make a difference.