My name is Grecia Perez. I am Venezuelan, and I moved to the United States in January 2021 searching for a better life and more opportunities for myself and my family. My journey with Luminus started with one volunteer job I took in Thanksgiving 2021, where I helped checking in families for an event that the organization hosted. While my task was fairly simple, it gave me enough time to learn about Luminus, and because my family and I are immigrants, we were always aware of their events opportunities.
As I finished my first year of college this past spring, I was looking for internships that would allow me to explore my interests in social service and international relations. I remembered Luminus, and I applied to be an Economic Empowerment intern. I have been doing this job since July, and I truly think of it as one of the most fulfilling work experiences I have ever had. I can help immigrants and refugees find jobs and all the resources they need to thrive in the United States, I get to practice my data analysis skills by collaborating in the data entry and data cleaning tasks, and overall I can help the organization grow.
However, these past weeks I have dedicated most of time to the Youth Mentorship Program that Luminus started this year. It is a pilot program where we help high school students (from all academic years) that are either immigrants or refugees themselves or that come from immigrant families understand the opportunities that are available after graduation.
We match each student with a mentor (from a very enthusiast group of volunteers for whom we provide orientation and resources) and they help their mentees navigate their high school years while focusing on their goals after graduating. Whether students want to go to a 4-year university, community college, trade school, or want to pursue other career paths, we want to make sure they have all the resources and information that they need to do so.
I help managing the students and the mentors, as well as providing help with any concerns or problems that arise as we develop this program. I really like this cause, and even though the program is still small, I truly believe it can grow and impact many students across many high schools in Maryland.
My internship and the Youth Mentorship Program are made possible through the generous support of individuals like you. Luminus is a nonprofit organization that relies on grants and donations to sustain its operations. We deeply value the support we have received throughout our 42 years of serviceto the community. Your contributions make a profound difference in the lives of the youth we serve and enable us to continue our vital work. Thank you for being a part of our journey.
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