Rachel Hefner, a sophomore at Meredith College is a student leader in the area of social justice. During her time at Meredith, Rachel has assisted immigrant families in a variety of ways from tutoring children in an after-school program to helping those in the community that are food insecure. Rachel’s passion is to improve the lives of people who arrive in the United States to improve their lives and to assist those without longstanding connections to the community become more integrated.
I became interested in helping those in the immigrant community while in high school. There I observed the economic and cultural challenges that those who recently arrived in the United States experienced. When I arrived at Meredith College, I wanted to continue some of the work I began in high school and began volunteering with an after-school program for low-income immigrant children. Because I took Spanish language classes, my abilities to help tutor these students really improved and I got to know the children and their other needs. That led me to volunteer with a food pantry that served the same community. When I complete my Social Work degree at Meredith, I want to continue volunteering with this community, but also work on new public policies that can improve the lives of people who face many challenges in this country.