• Jennifer Garcia

As an academic and working professional, amplifying the stories of Central America will always be an essential part of my work. After graduation, I had the opportunity to support UNICEF's programmatic response for refugee and migrant children along the Central America-Mexico-U.S.migratory corridor. I witnessed UNICEF HQ’s coordinated response with the U.S. National Committee, Regional Offices, Country Offices, other international organizations, government, and civil society partners. The work was impactful, enriching and included experiences that'd be impossible to forget.

● With our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support consultant, I remotely lead logistical coordination for frontline volunteers in the Rio Grande Valley to attend workshops on self-care and psychological first aid.
● I researched and created visualizations for a regional technical meeting in San Pedro Sula, Honduras focusing on Child-Sensitive Returns and Reintegration. Although I did not physically attend, knowing I contributed to work in the very city some of my family resides or has left from meant more than I can explain.
● I gained invaluable insight to the lives of migrant children through visiting two Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters for unaccompanied children and observed a Juvenile Docket Master Calendar at New York’s Executive Office of Immigration Review Court.
● I closely monitored ever-changing migration policy in the United States which has allowed me to confidently speak on its detrimental effects and the humane alternatives that exist.

During my internship, I reflected on the power dynamics that exist between international organizations and those they serve. I reflected on the power dynamics that exist between myself and the world around me. I am a white 1st-generation Honduran-American citizen advocating for all migrants. It's crucial for me to remind myself of this as I pursue a career in im/migration policy and advocacy. Arundhati Roy said, "There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced or preferably unheard.". I hold myself accountable to migrants and would be honored to continue to support such resilient people, wherever in the world they may be seeking a better life.