Alison is serving her first year with the Hernández After School Program
What inspires you to serve?
I’ve been doing youth work in one form or another for about 8 years now. I’ve gotten so much from working with young people in my life – generally speaking, I think inter-generational/inter-age-group (I don’t know if I’m in a different generation than my youth, to be honest) work is really important and when done right is such a symbiotic experience for everyone involved. Young people, both the ones I’m serving right now and ones I’ve worked with in the past, have always been the reason I do this work.
What social justice issue are you most passionate about and why?
I think I have a hard time narrowing down to one issue; I think systems of social injustice are all connected, so ideally I’m not just focusing only on issues that affect me personally that I may naturally be passionate about, I’m doing work to broaden my understanding of how power works and how those issues intersect with other injustices. That said, I have a part-time job working on a domestic violence hotline, and I think the anti-violence work I have done and am doing has really given me an opportunity to see not only how systems of violence like racism, cissexism, ableism, and classism are connected, but how systems of violence connect to the interpersonal violence that happens in our communities. So I’m really grateful for that.
Who has been your biggest support this year?
My friend and housemate Amethyst has been a HUGE support for me this year. Words honestly fail. Last week, she knew I was having a rough time so she got me a jar of pickles from the store where she works (pickles are my favorite food). She’s just really wonderful at supporting me in both big and small ways.