Diana Hernandez, 2022 SAF intern
SC Legal Services
At first I was scared to be placed so far away from the rest of my peers in South Carolina. At our orientation, I felt so comfortable because everyone was so welcoming and the thought of leaving or just being far away from everyone scared me. A month ago, I would’ve thought about just wanting to go home and going back to something familiar. Today, I love everything about my placement. I love my host and her family, as both a host and supervisor. I have felt so at home that it made realize that I didn’t miss home as much as I thought I would.
Throughout the summer, I have learned so much that I wouldn’t know where to start, from sitting in to listen to a potential client during an intake (the first time I realized that this was a job where you had to be prepared to hear about anything and everything!) to shortly after when we started doing outreach. In our first week, we went down to St. Helena, SC to a migrant clinic where we were invited by a Baptist ministry to go to a welcoming event for farmworkers in the area. I learned that this ministry was dedicated to helping farmworkers, regardless of if they were from the area or if they were H-2A workers. This made my heart so happy to see that there was in fact a community that cared about farmworkers, especially in the South. When we arrived at the event, we noticed that they received the farmworkers with care. Over 150 farmworkers showed up, and the ministry provided transportation for all of them. They were able to attend church, have a meal, and receive essentials along with information about how South Carolina Legal Services could help them.
The second outreach that I will always remember is going to Clio, SC and talking to farmworkers who were so happy to see others who speak Spanish. It made me realize that for a moment I knew exactly how they felt, being far away from home but also being able to understand the fact that the work they do is hard and that they are not able to see their families until their contract is over with. I know that it is difficult to move somewhere where all you have is the people you are with. It made me realize that it's the little things that make us happy.
I am excited to continue to see what comes next!