Alexis is a Loretto Volunteer serving as a Legal Clinic Coordinator at Bread for the City in Washington, DC. Originally from Lima, Peru and more recently Miami, FL, Alexis is a recent graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
What have you been doing at your placement?
I am the Legal Clinic Coordinator at Bread for the City’s northwest center. My main responsibilities include maintaining a caseload of Social Security cases that will be presented before an Administrative Law Judge and refer clients to internal as well as external legal services. Overall, I try to help clients navigate through a complex network of nonprofits and government agencies that can be particularly overwhelming when they are in a moment of crisis (truth be told, the system can be overwhelming for anyone at any point).
What is one thing you love about community living?
Community living adds a different dimension to the Loretto Volunteer Program. It helps the program go beyond the work we all do with our respective organizations and encourages an environment that keeps all of us challenged, motivated and growing. My community members are incredibly supportive, hilarious, and all around great people. We currently have a quote board that discusses everything from String Theory to parodies of Taylor Swift.
What has been one surprise, challenge or learning this year?
I was surprised how smoothly my housemates and I have coordinated a lot of the logistics for running the Junia House. Before arriving at DC, I thought that we would have some challenges due to our distinct habits and ways of life but this notion turned out to be too pessimistic. Although all ideas have not been the best ideas, our community’s openness and communicative attitude has helped us hit the ground running and we are always looking for ways to improve our daily living.
What do you value about your relationship with the Loretto Community?
The Loretto Community is one of the liveliest and most passionate groups of people I have ever met. The Sisters of Loretto are always there for anyone with a smile and work tirelessly to live up to their values. Former volunteers have also been beyond welcoming and kind. I admire the concern that the Loretto Community has for all its members and its willingness to reach out to others regardless of their background.
What advice do you have for someone considering doing a year of service?
I think it is a great opportunity for personal and communal growth as well as plant the seed for service throughout a lifetime. Academia and the private sector have been there since the beginning of time and they will probably stay there for another year. On the other hand, it might be more difficult to participate in a year of service as time progresses.
The Loretto Volunteer Program pairs young adults with social justice organizations for a formative year of service. Through meaningful work and communal living, volunteers live out the Loretto Community's mission to work for justice and act for peace - guided by the core values of social justice, community, simplicity and spirituality. Winner of the 2013 Call To Action Leadership Award, the Loretto Volunteer Program proudly prepares young adults to begin lives of public service.
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