Pathways Profiles

Ana Brouwer
Class of 2007

First Steps
When I first came to Pacific I was really unsure about what I wanted to study. I decided to major in Spanish and International Studies and I chose these majors because they gave me the chance to spend an entire year studying abroad in Mexico, which is when I felt I really began to learn Spanish.

Choices/Challenges
I alwayspicked community based work study jobs because I wanted to get involved in the community and continue learning and practicing Spanish in real situations, not just in the classroom. During my senior year I worked for Adelante Mujeres and PODER Family Literacy Program, two non-profit programs that serve the local Spanish-speaking community. Because of my involvement with PODER I was able to conduct ethnographic research with the participants of the program and I based my senior thesis on this research, with addressed how these immigrant families adjust to a new environment and culture and the changes this causes withinthese families, especially between children, who usuallylearn Englishand assimilate quickly,and their parents, who often times have a harder time adjusting to the new language and culture.

Finding A Pathway
After graduating PODER offered me a full-time Americorps position as Volunteer Coordinator of the program. My main responsibility is to recruit and maintain volunteers to help the children in the program by providing homework tutoring and fun enrichment activities while their parents attend classes. I have recruited lots of high school volunteers from the local community and now I am mentoring several of themwho are using their volunteer time as the basis for their senior projects. I really enjoy building relationships with my volunteers and seeing the positive effects volunteering has on them.

Success
Next year I plan go to PSUand begin the prerequisites I need for the Speech and Language Pathology program while continuing at PODER as a volunteer.