“I Can.”
Affirmations of Confidence and Potential from a Survivor and Volunteer

April 2015

Jennifer is one of Opening Doors’ most spirited and earnest volunteers. She is also a survivor. After working with Opening Doors for three years, she is in a place where she can say, “I can,” to her goals and future. As a volunteer, she realizes her potential to give back to others. Find out why you should say, “I can,” to volunteering, too.

Volunteers Support the Trafficking Program through Outreach
Volunteers support our programs in a number of ways, including outreach and office support.

 

Jennifer faced immense challenges when she first came to Opening Doors three years ago. Like many other immigrants, she lacked the protection and support of a familiar community. After working with our survivors of trafficking, immigration, and MoneyWork$ programs, Jennifer learned to put her needs first.

 

Her growth since then has been rapid. Jennifer received her work authorization last year, found a job with a prominent local company, moved into her own apartment, and even adopted a dog. “She embodies the term survivor,” Kishwer, Immigration Attorney, says of her achievements, describing Jennifer as a “strong, intelligent, motivated young woman.”

 

Now Jennifer devotes her energy to the Immigration Legal Services Program. As a Special Projects Volunteer, she is available for organizing, translating, interpreting, fundraising and more. Kishwer says Jennifer’s cheerful, vibrant personality and intimate knowledge of the program make her a strong ambassador for the immigration program. “Jennifer is really enthusiastic about our program,” Kishwer says. “She can speak knowledgeably about [its] strengths and successes.”

 

Jennifer attributes her passion for volunteering to the fulfillment she feels while helping others. “The only way to know the feeling is to do it,” she says. Unable to fully capture the joys of volunteer work, she uses a metaphor. “I was once the patient receiving surgery,” she says of her experience as a client of Opening Doors. “As an immigrant and with people trying to bring me down, it became too hard to do everything by myself.” At Opening Doors, Jennifer found a supportive community where she could develop her own skills and potential. Now, she helps other “patients” discover the same confidence by supporting the immigration program.

 

Jennifer’s commitment to continued growth and well-being

Volunteer helps a Client
A volunteer helps a client. Behind her is our Intern Wall of Fame that honors intern volunteers.

translates to all other aspects of her life. In addition to volunteering, she enjoys playing with her dog and is committed to getting healthy. She has long-term goals of cleaning up her credit, buying a house, and traveling.

Most impo rtantly, she stresses the importance of being active in nature and with herself.


As someone who used our programs, she views them as indispensable resources for the community. “Opening Doors was very important for me to succeed,” she says. Once she felt like everything that was going wrong in her life was her own fault. After working with Opening Doors, she has learned to embrace her rights, care for herself, and feel confident about her abilities.

 

Jennifer volunteers to empower others to discover their own potential; others volunteer to build their skills and work experience. Whatever your intentions, the time and energy you dedicate to helping others keeps community based programs alive. Moreover, you will reap lasting personal rewards. As Jennifer says, “When you volunteer, you can look back and know you did good.”

 

 

Read other articles from April 2015:

Donate to Refugees: Give Your Household Goods a New Purpose

Big Day of Giving: Round 2