Andrea Gaitan International Fundraising

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For the first time in my life I am heading out to do something I am very passionate about. I am excited to announce, I will be volunteering with Good Shepherd Volunteers in Sucre, Bolivia this fall. I am a driven, loyal, and free spirited first generation American. My parents brought me to the U.S. when I was two years old, with the hope of giving my sister and I a better life. A life I could have never dreamt of having in Guatemala. Due to my parent’s many struggles and sacrifices, my sister and I were able to persevere in the face of many adversities.

 

 

I pursued a degree in Social Work, a profession that is centered on ensuring the well-being of the families and individuals. However, I was not exactly sure with what population I wanted to work with. I just knew I wanted to give back to my communities. During my junior year of college, I had the privilege of meeting an undocumented student from Guatemala. This student shared her many struggles growing up and the many difficulties she had to face being undocumented. She also shared her drive, passion, and determination to succeed with me. With every struggle, she informed me of a success as well. Her desires and ambitions to succeed were so inspiring to me. I decided it was my responsibility as a social worker to provide her and individuals similar to her the support, empathy, and the opportunities to develop new skills to improve their own quality of life; but most of all, I wanted to make a contribution to my community and to assist many of those people who could not, and cannot advocate for themselves. I wanted to be their voice.

 

 

I started my career at Youth For Tomorrow in 2013, working as a Therapeutic Day Treatment Specialist with individuals between the ages of 6-17 years old. Providing behavioral health services to children and adolescents with mental illness. In 2014, I transitioned into working with immigrant youth, many of these youths were at risk and living in underdeveloped communities. I have worked with victims of human trafficking, survivors of gang violence, drugs, and sexual assault. Working with this specific population in the U.S. has changed me, and given me a unique perspective into what they face everyday. I want to do more and continue to be their voice.

 

 

Taking a leap of faith I decided to apply to volunteer for the opportunity to do more. I feel blessed to have this opportunity with Good Shepherd Volunteers. I am going into this experience with an open heart and willingness to learn. In order to make this new journey possible, I have a fundraising goal of $4,000. If you are able to give financially, please do so on this page or by mailing a check with my name in the memo to Good Shepherd Volunteers, 25-30 21st Ave, Astoria, NY 11105. Please know that all monetary donations to GSV go toward our experience of serving people in need, not administrative or overhead costs and all gifts are tax deductible. Any contribution will help, no gift is insignificant. I thank you for your kind consideration and allowing me this experience.

 

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