On January 18, 2022, we welcomed Victoria Garcia as the Language Access Program Intern for the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA). She is a senior at Temple University who will intern with our office during the Spring 2023 semester.
Victoria will assist with language access projects and compliance for the language access program, as well as support the engagement strategy for the Operation Transformation Fund project.
We asked Victoria some questions to get to know her better:
Why did you decide to intern with the Office of Immigrant Affairs?
As a Global Studies major, I am passionate about an interconnected world in which immigrants and refugees are always welcome. I decided to intern with the Office of Immigrant Affairs because I believe in the importance of a city that offers immigrants the tools and resources to succeed in different areas as residents of that city. By guiding all city offices on how to be accessible for immigrants, OIA works really hard to make Philly a city in which immigrants feel welcome, and I am grateful to be a part of that work during this internship.
Why is language access important to you?
Language access is important to me because it allows people that have moved to the U.S and have not had the chance to learn English, or are in the process of learning it, to enjoy city services in their own language. This allows immigrant residents of the city to feel welcome and accepted by our community regardless of their language skills. Moreover, as a native Spanish speaker that had to learn English as a second language, I understand how relieving it can be to hear your native language, and how easier it can make accessing various city services.
Where are you coming from, and what do you enjoy about Philadelphia?
I am an international student from Maracaibo, Venezuela. I moved to Philly in the fall of 2019 to start my studies at Temple University. Something I have learned throughout my years at Temple and living in Philly is how welcoming this city is for immigrants. While interning with the Nationalities Service Center during the summer of 2022, I got to experience how hard different organizations in the city work to make sure immigrants and refugees resettle here properly, and that they have the resources and the help they need along the way. Being a foreigner myself, I enjoy living in a city in which I feel accepted and welcomed regardless of my background or my nationality.
What do you do in your free time?
During my free time I enjoy doing things that help me destress. I like spending time with my friends walking around the city, going to brunch or dinner, or just staying in to watch movies. My guilty pleasure is watching Disney movies over and over. I also enjoy volunteering with different communities when I have the time. Lately, I have also been enjoying doing yoga and journaling during my free time.
What are you hoping to accomplish through this internship?
Through this internship, I hope to learn more about the efforts of OIA and the language access program to guide city offices in becoming more welcoming to immigrants. I am also learning to keep connecting with different organizations in the city that focus on immigrants and refugee resettlement.