Seeing My Home Through New Eyes: Final Reflections on Interning with the Cisneros Center

Clare Alvarez

National Intern 2016


During the course of my time as an intern at the Cisneros Center, I have come to realize many things that I did not know about myself and the immigrant community. Although I’ve lived all of my pre-college life in Laredo, a very migrant and Hispanic based community, I never realized the impact that these same people I had always been surrounded by had on the entire American community. Moving away from Laredo and coming to Washington D.C. for nearly a year has given me a different perspective and understanding of the city I thought I had fully understood and known for the majority of my life.

I began my internship with the Cisneros Center not quite knowing what I had gotten myself into, but looking back, I am very glad to have made the decision to do so. The majority of my time as an intern for the Cisneros Center consisted of creating annotated bibliographies on comprehensive reports and articles about the impact of immigration and integration. This itself has improved my ability to pinch out the most important details from extensive readings, allowed me to develop time management skills, and become a somewhat organized individual. Although the latter are very important and useful skills to obtain, the most valuable assets I personally improved on were understanding and mindfulness. Overall, I like to think that I improved not only my work ethic but also as an individual.

I am grateful to the Cisneros Center for giving me the opportunity to intern with them as it has been an unforgettable learning experience. I will not only go back to Laredo with many statistical facts about immigrants that no one else will find as interesting but with a new set of skills, experiences, and a completely different mindset. I thought Laredo, its function as a border city, and its people to be insignificant, but now I understand that that is not true. The city and population I was raised in, just like any other city, plays an important part in the U.S.’s functionality and economy.

Cisneros Center for New Americans


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