Interns reflect on their time at BIIN

Published by Program Manager on

Interns reflect on their time at BIIN

As the Spring semester of 2023 comes to an end, our interns are also coming to their final days and weeks at BIIN. We asked the interns for a few final remarks; asking them questions like ‘What has been the most impactful thing you have learned from BIIN?’ and ‘How have you seen BIIN influence your future career?’ Our interns have put in the work this semester from attending several outreach events to relentlessly showing up to English/Citizenship classes to even being moved around in positions. BIIN truly could not accomplish what it has without its interns.

Minha Shabbir IRA Intern

The most impactful thing that I have learned at BIIN is that in this field I am going to encounter people from all walks of life so I need to approach them with empathy as well as do my best to serve them. If I were to describe my internship to someone who had never heard of BIIN I’d say it was social work based. We work with immigrants and provide them with direct services as well as give them referrals. Even though my direct one-on-one interactions with clients have been limited I think that I have impacted BIIN by helping keep the IRA program organized both in person and on Salesforce. Additionally, I have formed good relationships with the few long-term clients I have been able to communicate with. I think what makes BIIN different from other non-profits is that most nonprofits I have heard of have only one program or one mission. BIIN has three different programs that each have different goals for our clients/students, however they all support the same mission of serving the immigrant community. I have seen BIIN help to influence my future career by giving me a taste of what working in social work would be like. I want to go into medical social work and this internship has solidified that this is exactly what I want to do.

Christian Gonzalez Marketing Intern

The most impactful thing I have learned from BIIN is how to be more humble and understanding. In my internship it’s important to be able to engage with the community, the vulnerable community teaches you a lot about life and others’ journeys. It is truly rewarding. I feel I have impacted BIIN by remaining steady and ready to help anywhere they need me and always willing to put in the work. I think BIIN is different from other non-profit organizations I have heard of, in the way that everyone really does their job and more with all of their heart. They are welcoming, patient and understanding. They have become like family and made it feel like home, not just an office. I think working at BIIN has helped influence my career by motivating me. Each week I engage with vulnerable people from the community. Learning a different language and coming out to people you do not know to get help to become a citizen is very motivating. Seeing those people from the community putting aside fears and doubts has proven to me that I can do it too. Also, being able to spread my wings and create my own projects with support from everyone at BIIN has been very motivating.

Chanwoo Kim ESL Intern

The most impactful lesson I’ve learned from BIIN is how racially and socioeconomically diverse the Bryan community is. As a student at Texas A&M, it’s very easy to get absorbed into the comforts of the College Station community where you have the option to surround yourself with like-minded people if you really wanted to. Throughout the past two semesters however I’ve found myself in countless rewarding experiences with students from Cuba all the way to China who have all helped me gain a more mature outlook on life. An internship at BIIN can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your college years as long as you come in with an open mind and take initiative. For instance, after a conversation about what we like to do for fun, I learned that everyone likes to read. Knowing that most of our students work from as early as four in the morning, I realized it was unrealistic to expect our students to go to the library right after work then come straight to BIIN for our English classes from 6:30-8:30 pm. Recognizing this need, I decided to create our own library at BIIN from donated books; in this way, students could pick up a book or two after class without having to find time in their schedule for a visit to the public library. I hope that I’ve been able to help our students get closer to their goals that brought them to BIIN in the first place. Not only by helping them learn English but also by supporting their small businesses, proofreading emails, and finding resources such as free cancer screenings and entrepreneurship classes.The team at BIIN is what makes this non profit so special. Shoutouts to Vanessa, Viviana, Alyssa, and Freddy. It’s been amazing to work with this team throughout the year, and I have no doubt we’ll finish the year on a good note.I started my first year at Texas A&M knowing I wanted to give the possibility of medical school a chance. I was doing things like getting A’s in my classes, volunteering at food pantries, and getting my EMT certification because I heard from friends and Google that these were places where you might gain experiences that could teach you “Why Medicine?” After watching Missing in Brooks County, a documentary about the immigration crisis for an assignment in my Spanish class during my sophomore year, I remember having the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with the producers where they said “don’t wait for your local community to come to you.” These words inspired me to get involved and it’s why I started volunteering for BIIN in the first place. After a year of English classes on Zoom, I jumped at the opportunity to intern for Fall 2022 when we returned to in-person classes. Throughout the past year, I’ve been able to learn so much about the current state of healthcare in Texas. At BIIN, I’ve met too many students who’ve avoided seeking healthcare, shrugging their illnesses off as something they’ll “figure out” because they couldn’t “justify” the costs of seeing a specialist. As someone who needed Medicaid to afford surgeries for congenital cataracts, my time at BIIN once again showed me the brokenness of our current healthcare system, and what was supposed to be a volunteering gig inspired by a documentary ultimately ended up being where I finally started figuring out “Why Medicine?”

Alyssa Ramos Mora, ESL Intern

The most impactful thing I have learned from BIIN is the relationship with the community. The clients we serve have impactful stories that have influenced my life. My internship consists of building relationships with students and teachers. It is important for students to have a safe and comforting environment. My internship consists of building relationships with students and teachers. It is important for students to have a safe and comforting environment. BIIN is different from other non-profit due to the clientele we interact with. We strive to promote human dignity and well-being of immigrants in our country. BIIN has helped influence my future career. It provided the opportunity to continue working with the immigrant community.

Grace Graham, Outreach and Communication Intern

The most impactful thing that I have learned from working at BIIN is that nonprofits thrive on volunteers. There takes a lot in order to run a successful program for our clients and that truly could not happen without the help of the volunteers. I am currently the Outreach and Communication intern here at BIIN. This has consisted of sharing with the community what our services are: those being English and Citizenship classes as well as Information, Referral and Assistance (IRA). While being out and telling the community this means attending events where we are able to reach those who may be in need of our services. Alongside being in Outreach, within the Communication side, this entails being responsible for all internal and external communication with other interns, donors and potential partners. BIIN is different form other nonprofits in the sense that it is almost fully reliant upon interns and volunteers to make a difference for their clientele. Because of this interns are able to fully have a part in decision making and hands on experience in working for a nonprofit. BIIN has helped to provide me with hands-on experience of event planning and outreach. Before working at BIIN I did not know what I wanted to do with my career. After my semester-long internship I have realized I love to work in outreach speaking to people, getting them connected with those who can further help their needs. I feel as though I have been able to help BIIN in creating partnerships with other nonprofits in order to further assist our clients. 

Nena Walton Grant Writing Intern

I have had the opportunity to serve in many capacities, many of which were unexpected. Specifically as the grant-writing intern, I walked into my internship thinking it would be somewhat mundane and I would be spending all my time writing on a computer. Although there were many days spent writing grants, I was able to build relationships with the people I worked with in the office. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work with outreach, which is where I was able to see the impact that BIIN has on the community. Through outreach I saw the faces of people that we serve, while also witnessing a part of the community that I have never seen before. Ultimately, interning at BIIN showed me the importance of serving those in the community and what you can do to help. To be an intern at BIIN, does mean you are only limited to your specific role, but you have the opportunity to serve the organization in so many other ways. You are not only someone to complete as many tasks as you can while in the office, but you get to build a community and become friends with the other interns. More than that, you get to have a real voice in what goes on at BIIN. As the grant writing intern, one of the biggest ways I have impacted BIIN is through assisting them in writing grant proposals. This is one of the main sources that BIIN receives funding. Additionally, I have been able to propose my own ideas on what it looks like to be an intern there; looking at new ways to get involved or spread more of the word to the community. Looking at other nonprofits I have worked for, BIIN is much smaller in size but that does not hold back their capacity to accomplish their goals. BIIN uses every opportunity to go out into the community to truly support the immigrant community. Interning here has shown me that I want to pursue a career in working for a nonprofit organization. It has provided me with insider knowledge into many of the logistical aspects of running a nonprofit. Along, with insight in the network that nonprofits have with one another, and how each of them are important.

Freddy Nieto Rodriguez ESL Intern

The most impactful thing I have learned at BIIN is the importance of community is the most important thing I have learned at BIIN. At BIIN we welcome everyone, and everyone is family. Being an ESL intern is an immersive experience into the immigrant community in which you show up everyday to help them grow and learn, while they provide knowledge that simultaneously helps you learn. At BIIN I have gotten to establish a welcoming energy that will keep students motivated to come back and join our BIIN family. BIIN is different in that it is for anyone regardless of background, and takes no private information meaning that they protect their clientele. BIIN has helped me to hone in on my people skills which will serve greatly when networking in my future career field.

Thanks to Spring 2023 interns for recording their responses and to intern Grace Graham for editing.

Categories: Faces of BIIN