De Pura Chiripada


Ameena Razzaque is San Antonio native currently studying at Dartmouth University. She spent her Spring 2019 term interning with HNS and reflects below on this experience.

“De pura chiripada.” If anyone asks how in the world I came across an internship with HNS, that is what I would tell them. Over the course of my internship, I fell in love with the rich history and culture of the Westside. I also learned a lot about HNS, the clients and people I have come to admire, and my own purpose in the world.

For my internship, I shadowed HNS’s Clinical Case Manager and Family Support Specialists. I also read with Kid’s Place students, which was certainly the cutest part of each day!

From my work with seniors, I learned what it means to “care, but not carry.” From helping Señor Pascual during lunch or visiting Señora Mary in her home, I was continuously inspired by stories of resilience and determination. I felt loved and respected by the seniors of HNS who had not known me a month prior. I felt integrated into this beautiful community already after my first round of Loteria.

From the children I read to and interacted with, I relived my childhood and basked in the unending love and excitement they shared with me. I tried to make the books we were reading come alive through silly voices and questions and I hope they will foster the same love for reading that I had as a child. These bundles of joy reminded me of the beauty of innocence, taught me the importance of carefree laughter, and compelled me to become energetic and animated again.

The phrase I started this reflection with means “a stroke of luck.” I feel very lucky to have become a part of the HNS community and receive lessons I will carry with me well beyond my time in the Westside.


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