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Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning

Current Social Justice Interns

‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Learn more about some of our current Social Justice Interns, their work, and what they're learning from the experience.

 Name:  Quinn Christianson

Major: English and Computer Science

Internship Role: Misericordia Developmental Training Program Intern

As an intern in the Developmental Training Program at Misericordia, I help Misericordia residents attain and train skills that are necessary in the everyday workings of the world. I help residents develop and improve on their computer, motor, and communication skills, so they can be equipped for all situations they find themselves in. Most of my volunteer work takes place at Misericordia's Beyond Boundaries program, communication room, vocational exploration room, and computer room. After talking with several of the residents I have found myself learning many things that I did not expect to learn, such as American Sign Language.

 Name: Samantha Dane

Major: Health Systems Management

Internship Role: Misericordia Personal Effectiveness Intern

Working in PEP is an amazing experience. About 18 Misericordia residents are in this program. I am developing wonderful friendships with each resident as I get to know them. In PEP, we help residents with their behavioral challenges through many different therapies, learning exercises, and friendly, helpful interactions. This internship has opened up my eyes about how passionate I am about working for social justice. I hope that every individual in our society can be fully aware of all the abilities in disabilities. Working at Misericordia has given me hope, because I think through awareness and education, our society can really change and be socially just one day.

 Name: Carolina Esobar

Major: International Studies

Minor: Statistics

Internship Role: Misericordia Developmental Training Program Intern

Along with Quinn, Carolina works in Misericordia's Developmental Training Program, assisting residents in various skill-building classes.


 Name:  Mario Mason

Major:  Health Systems Management

Internship Role: Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Intern

As an intern within the Refugee Resettlement Program at Catholic Charities of Chicago, I work with refugees who come to Chicago. I help provide services that allow these clients to gain legal employment in the state and help them stabilize their lives. So far I have been able to further my interest in global issues.


 Name: Jax Mendez

Major: Advocacy and Social Change and Psychology

Internship Role: Catholic Charities Immigration and Naturalization Intern

As an intern within the Immigrant Survivor Project at Catholic Charities of Chicago, I have seen the human face of immigration. I work with victims of violent crimes to help provide a pathway towards legal immigration status. Through this experience, I have heard some of the many stories of the undocumented community and have witnessed their resilience in the face of immense adversity. This experience has allowed me to further my passions for humane comprehensive immigration reform and has also sparked a new interest in women's rights and working with survivors of domestic violence.

 Name: Aqela Rahman

Major: Social Work

Internship Role: Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Intern

Catholic Chariteis receives many refugees and helps these refugee families and individuals find homes, get jobs, and become self-sufficient in the U.S. My job is to help these families learn about the resources around them. My tasks include taking refugees to school open houses, doctor's appointments, ESL classes, and government offices to teach them about the educational, health care, and public welfare systems available here. This internship has taught me the role social workers and government agencies play in helping new immigrants become oriented in their new country and encouraged me to one day pursue a career in public service.

 Name: Samantha Rivera

Major: Advocacy and Social Change

Minors: Education Policy and Spanish

Internship Role: Catholic Charities Madonna House Interim Housing Intern

Madonna House provides safe shelter, food, and support services for mothers and their children to create an avenue towards self-sufficiency. Through this internship program, I serve as a resource for staff and residents as well as the liaison between Madonna House and other community organizations. This entails preparation for holiday donations, working with the case manage to allocate resources, and developing interactive youth programs among other responsibilities. My goal is to strengthen my community outreach, program facilitation, and communication skills. This will allow me to support the residents in becoming their own empowered self-advocates.

 Name: Evan Turpen

Major: Finance

Internship Role: Catholic Charities Volunteer Relations Intern

Interning within Volunteer Relations at Catholic Charities allows me to gain experience in a wide range of services that the organization offers. My day to day activities within the office include planning and preparing for future volunteer initiatives, updating and maintaining a volunteer database, and assisting with the seasonal giving programs for Catholic Charities' families. In this experience, I am able to see how a nonprofit operates internally as well as seeing the external, firsthand impact of these initiatives. I also participate in volunteering at a weekly Tuesday Night supper for the local homeless community. I hope to gain technical and strategical knowledge from this internship of how to one day start or work with a nonprofit, seeking to raise and solve issues of social injustices in my community.

 Name: Tania Velazquez

Major: Advocacy & Social Change

Internship Role: Misericordia Recreation & Leisure Intern

As a Social Justice Intern, I devote my time to Misericordia's Recreation & Leisure/Music Therapy Department. Misericordia is a home to these individuals, and I've joined the team that is responsible for fostering a caring environment by involving them in activities that are both developmental and enjoyable. With the residents taking on work like the rest of us, they also deserve to enjoy themselves. Therefore, I volunteer in leading activities such as yoga, sporting events, along with arts and crafts. Working with Misericordia, one is able to feel the warmth throughout campus, and I believe those involved can learn the definition of compassion and humility to push them forth to serve. As their social justice intern, I have personally encountered this and have become and advocate for individuals such as those at Misericordia in any given opportunity.

 Name:  Sydney Warren

Major: Social Work

Internship Role:  Misericordia Social Service Intern

As a social service intern at Misericordia, I complete case management tasks and assist in the application process, so new individuals can successfully be added to the waiting list and bring them one step closer to becoming a resident. Also, I have gotten the wonderful opportunity to observe and assist with the various other programs like Developmental Training, which has helped me gotten to get to know and introduce myself to the residents on campus.  As a social work major, this internship is definitely bringing me into the world of social justice as well as my future career. Meeting with and being training by the various social workers and coordinators has been so insightful and has helped me to reassure my passion. I have made so many connections with coworkers as well as residents, and I am looking forward to continuing to build many more relationships.


Center for Experiential Learning · 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660
Shipping address: Sullivan Center for Student Services · 6339 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773.508.3366 · Fax: 773.508.3955 · E-mail: experiential@luc.edu

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