Sewa Lead Interns Explore Grass Root Community Work with Texans Together

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Frank Garcia, Director Texans Together

By  Anoushka Giri

HOUSTON:Television, newscasts and other mediums provide the well-to-do middle class a glimpse at the “worlds” of those it has solely seen as part of a statistic, another demographic, another poverty-stricken neighborhood stained upon the comfortable lives that the otherwise middle class suburban background offers. We hear of the strifes and it’s enough to say that emotion can be evoked when we hear these stories, but until a true encounter is made with the very movers and shakers who change the inhospitable circumstances, it’s quite impossible to understand.

On June 25, a group of SEWA Houston Interns were given the opportunity to harbor such understanding when Alief community leader Frank Garcia unfolded his own story and welcomed us to his vision and the sanctuary it has materialized into. Garcia welcomed us as his team members, as he sought to understand our own motives behind assisting the individuals around us through education and leadership program. Yet his communication with us did not stop there. Acknowledging that we would be unfamiliar with the hostile situations of the Alief neighborhoods, Garcia took to conveying his connection to the community. Growing up within a family that continuously sought apartments as it looked for a stable job opportunities, Garcia lacked a sense of homeliness to any particular setting. However, this did not prevent him from being affected by the negativity of the Alief community he would eventually settle in. Childhood and adolescence were consumed within the hardships, but this negativity would mark Garcia, now a member of Texans Together, with lessons that he would later manifest into a community center capable of feeding his community a power to organize, to lead, and to empower both themselves and the rest of the society which they aimed to pull out of the negativity. A tour through the community center evokes a sense of comfort and intellect, be it to children who create new friendships and forge new lessons through reading, or to adults who receive information regarding immigration, financial assistance, or simply put, a helping hand. It is individuals as Frank Garcia who imprint a vision upon society, and it is society which then changes its circumstances.

Sewa Lead Houston Interns are rising Juniors and Seniors in High School and they spend 50 or more hours over summer volunteering with the community.

For further information call Kavita Tewary at 713-303-4253 or email at educationhouston@sewausa.org

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