Claire Smith '12
Major: English and Hispanic studies
"My service year in Portland drew heavily upon my verbal & written communication skills (in English & Spanish) and my knowledge of power, privilege, and systems of oppression. I was tested as an attentive listener, a critical and creative thinker, and an empathetic person. The challenges of working with folks who are in crisis can feel overwhelming at times, but the relationships I have been invited into and the growth I have been witness to are more than enough reward.
"The theory and discourses I was exposed to in both of my majors has provided me with a strong foundation upon which to work against oppression (of immigrants, women, people of color, etc.)."
"My Hispanic Studies classes, in particular, have helped me develop cultural sensitivity and basic awareness around the barriers that many of my clients have experienced, while classes in both majors have exposed me to issues of sexism and gendered violence. More than anything else, though, my education in PLU's Humanities Division has taught me to honor people's stories as valuable and useful ways of understanding and being in this world.”