I'm Tiara (t-air-uh, like the air you breathe) and for most of my internship here at CNMC, my tasks have revolved around our immigration services. It's been the most surprising part of my internship, but honestly the most rewarding. I've been responsible for preparing our clients for their citizenship interviews with USCIS, and to say it's a privilege to help prepare our clients for this milestone in their lives has been humbling. Before coming to Cactus, I seriously took being an American citizen for granted-- when I turned 16, I could drive and work with no issues. I didn't have to worry about qualifying for financial aid for college due to my legal status, and I am able to benefit from certain programs due to my legal status. I learned pretty quick that this isn't the case for everyone, and it really threw me for a loop. Are you really experiencing life if you aren't challenging everything you once knew?
I've had the pleasure of working with 6 clients so far this semester, but for the purpose of the newsletter I'm going to brag on my friend Yusmila. The two of us come from completely different walks of life, and the only thing we really have in common is our connection to CNMC. Despite this, Yusmila made a significant impact in my life, just as I made in hers. Our mock interviews became so much more than USCIS practice: Yusmila sharing her wisdom, my vulnerability about how I struggle at the Center sometimes because I don't speak Spanish, and her sharing that she felt she not only needed to pass her USCIS interview for herself, but for little old me (!!!). So, while we met once a week for civics trivia, writing, and reading practice, our last mock interview together ended in prayer.
I thanked the Lord for the strength Yusmila's adversity brought her as well as for her determination to become an American citizen. At the end of the day, there was nothing more rewarding than being told by Yusmila that she felt safe and capable during our time together. Isn't that always the goal? By the way, YUSMILA PASSED HER USCIS INTERVIEW AND IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN!! Praise God!