Emily Scotton ‘15 recently completed an internship with the FaithAction International House in Greensboro, N.C., which aims to help Greensboro become a multicultural, immigrant-accepting city. Scotton assisted local immigrants with language skills and day-to-day resources.
Scotton first heard about FaithAction through her mother, who had heard Reverend David Fraccaro speak about the organization at her church. Scotton says that after hearing her mother describe the organization she realized her mother had “found something special.” She soon contacted Reverend Fraccaro and, after two interviews, was selected to intern with FaithAction for the summer of 2013.
During her time at FaithAction, Scotton worked in the Immigrant Assistance and Resource Center. Here she dedicated her days to helping both documented and undocumented immigrant clients create resumes, search for jobs, apply for financial assistance, and receive medical care. Scotton also called numerous Consulates to procure information for clients, registered clients for bus passes, and enrolled children in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in local schools.
Scotton had the opportunity to lead a ten-week ESL class for Spanish-speaking adults. She taught approximately eight adult students practical English conversational skills.
“The attitudes of my students made me realize how lucky I am to have received, and still be receiving, such a wonderful, free education,” said Scotton. “I was humbled to be leading a group of such bright, dedicated people, and I carried their attitude towards learning with me as I returned to school.”
Scotton was also involved with FaithAction’s ID Initiative, which partnered with the Greensboro Police Department to create non-government ID cards for immigrants who are ineligible to receive identification from the state government.
As a Spanish and political science double major pursuing a minor in nonprofit studies, Scotton highlighted multiple connections between her internship experience, her current studies, and her future career plans. She was able to maintain and improve her Spanish language skills by interacting with native speakers; she learned how nonprofits can serve the Hispanic community; and she saw firsthand how the FaithAction International House addresses the policy side of immigration. Scotton, who is interested in attending law school upon completion of her undergraduate studies, also observed applications of immigration law in a nonprofit setting and even assisted in writing an affidavit.
“The most rewarding aspect of this experience was realizing I could help my clients,” said Scotton. “Even when in situations where I did not think I was successful, clients always thanked me for my time and my help. And in situations where I was able to help, and the client’s issue was resolved, I felt so fulfilled! There is nothing quite like knowing you can help someone.”
Story by Laura Turner