Hello everyone! I just realized that I haven’t blogged in a while and haven’t kept my readers (the 5 that I have) updated on my life and what’s next. As many of you know, I recently finished up a year as a Young Adult Volunteer, where I lived on the US-Mexico border. Living, serving, and seeing life on the border had a very profound effect on me. That, combined with discerning things through the YAV program, helped me get a little bit on insight into what I feel called to do. As you know, moving forward takes many steps, and I have figured out my next one!
This upcoming year (starting already) I will be participating in the YAV program once again. However, I will be in a new location! For the next 11ish months I will be living and serving in Austin, Texas. I will be working with an organization called Grassroots Leadership, which is a non-profit that works to end for-profit incarceration and reduce our reliance on criminalization and detention. Private prisons (for-profit) are something that I learned about and saw a little bit of while I was living on the border. Many of those migrants mistreated by our immigration system end up in private prisons, which have subpar living conditions, and are used to create profits, not to care or rehabilitate people who are deemed criminals. While the Department of Justice did recently release a statement saying that they would be no longer using private prisons, that change will not happen over night. There are also still many local and state private prisons that need to be shut down or improved. While with Grassroots Leadership, I will be helping with their trainings for people who wish to visit or learn more about detention centers, doing research on the existing system, and participating in various actions to raise awareness of these issues. I am very excited for this new phase in my life and for all the things I will witness, learn, and explore while living in Austin and working with Grassroots.
As with this past YAV year, I am asking for your support of my time in Austin. To start off with, I would love prayer for my new environment and work that I will be doing. While I am incredibly excited about this upcoming year, I am also nervous. Transition and new surroundings can be very challenging and nerve-wracking, so prayers for my new roommates and myself are greatly appreciated. I would also welcome any and all financial support you could provide. Each YAV is required to fundraise at least $3,000. If you are interested in supporting me through prayer, or financially, here is a page on my blog which explains all the possible ways to support me. I would also encourage you to follow my blog, which I will be using to update everyone as to what I am doing, how I am growing, challenges, and life here in Austin. (Insert blog link and fundraising link) I would also like to give a shout out and HUGE thank you to Fort Hill Presbyterian Church for helping me with my fundraising for a second year in a row. This church is truly amazing and I am so thankful for them helping raise me and instill the base values that I still follow to this day.
Here’s to a new chapter. Let’s make it a good one.