Moving to the Twin Cities to accept a Lutheran Volunteer Corps position at MCC Refugee Services represents a kind of homecoming for Emily, who grew up outside St. Paul before heading to Luther College in Iowa. While a student, Emily pursued a double major in Anthropology and Nordic Studies program, and studied abroad in both Norway and Tanzania.
Following graduation, Emily decided to complete a year of volunteer service, hoping to explore the realm of non-profit work before deciding if she would like to pursue a career in non-profits, or return to school for a graduate degree in anthropology. She decided to apply for the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and MCC Refugee Services was her clear first choice for a placement and she is excited to work with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds in a positive way.
In her LVC position at MCC, Emily has the opportunity to work with both the Immigration Services program and Reception and Placement for new arrivals, splitting her time equally between both programs. She enjoys the variety of her work—whether she is helping families fill out Green Card and Citizenship applications or accompanying new arrivals to the Social Security office. She has a unique perspective since she sees both the challenges faced by new arrivals and the strides that families have made after a few years of living in the United States.
So far, one of her favorite experiences at Refugee Services was visiting the donation room to see all the items that have been donated, and then bringing those items to an apartment set-up for a new arrival. Seeing the immediate impact of providing a family with towels, or giving children a soccer ball that were donated by community supporters made her bubble over with joy, and she still breaks into a smile every time she thinks of that experience.