Social Justice, Immigrant Style

By Beatrice Hociota, 2016 GU Impacts Student

June 27, 2016

I have never known how to answer the question of where I am from. I am Romanian. I was born there and lived there until I was eight. However, I have lived in America for 11 years and have found who I am here. Being an immigrant means I do not know where I come from. I am not fully Romanian, but also not entirely American. I find myself in an obscure, middle-ground state. For this reason, I would say I come from the endless days of hearing my parents’ tears over the disrespect they faced and the lack of understanding they had. I come from hearing them regret our move to America. I come from hours of studying, fighting to keep up with my classmates. I come from mentors who have sacrificed their time to guide my path. I come from a family who refused to give up — a family who, despite trials and fears, refused to be seen as anything besides who we are. I come from a family who refused to be defeated.

My background as an immigrant has led me to pursue serving others. I would not be the person I am today were it not for people that came into my life, saw me for more than an immigrant, and fought to ensure I had the opportunities to be able to succeed. My duty to reach out to others in return has taken me to Managua, Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, but also a nation filled with culture and perseverance. I am interning for Mochila Digital, an innovative EdTech social enterprise working to bring technology to all, with the goal of improving the approach to education. The founder, Ricardo Teran, noticed that children were not being taught correctly, and their education was suffering. I, along with two other students, have come to represent the Beeck Center and to help Mr. Teran in his vision to revolutionize Nicaragua. I will be working to deepen Mochila Digital’s relationship with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization, and to form new partnerships with NGOs throughout Latin America. In addition, my team and I will be working on creating a new website, improving social media presence, and telling the company’s story.

My experience as an immigrant has not only taught me the value of a serving hand, but it has also allowed me to see the sacrifices my parents have made for me, leaving me unsure of the career I would like to have. Thus, this summer I hope to engage with professionals from Mochila Digital and World Vision to understand what it would be like to work for social justice in Latin America. More importantly, I hope that in this environment, where nothing is familiar, I learn to allow myself to be challenged. I want to wholeheartedly welcome difficulties and questions to be able to grow. My Spanish-speaking abilities will be stretched far beyond the walls of a classroom, and I will be challenged in my ability to work with others while ensuring that my voice, and that of others, is heard. Personally, I will be compelled to embrace my faith on my own or lose it. Away from the community I have built at Georgetown, I will have to make choices and seek out God without the immediate support of like-minded believers. This summer has and will completely push me out of my comfort zone, force me to reflect on who I am, and challenge me to fully grasp what I stand for.

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author of this article do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University or any employee thereof.

Originally published at on June 27, 2016.

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