Attention and Perseverance – A Summer with OTOC

Legislative Visit to Deb Fischer Office May 13  student CHarly MichaelisOver the course of my first month interning with Omaha Together One Community, I feel I have been exposed to a wealth of new information and experiences. I was not expecting to feel so uninformed about many of the social issues present in the Omaha community. Despite this feeling of ignorance, working with OTOC and observing the actions that are being pursued makes me extremely hopeful. It is comforting to know that there are so many individuals, organizations, and congregations engaging in conversation and working towards practical solutions to social issues.

Thus far I have had the opportunity to participate in a meeting with a Nebraska Senator, a visioning retreat for community organization, a community wide fundraising event, as well as multiple individual and relational meetings with community leaders. As a result, I feel I have been able to experience a few of the many components that make up community organizing and non-profit work. Often times this work seems rather overwhelming but I have begun to see the importance in celebrating small successes and progress along the way. Social change, in any realm, is not a sprint. It takes consistent attention and perseverance. I have heard concrete stories and directly observed the achievements that can result from this persistence and determination, which have been incredibly encouraging.

Immigration issues and refugee support have been a focus of this internship so far and I feel I am progressively becoming more aware of immigrant and refugee conditions particular to Omaha. There is so much to be learned from these cultures that differ from our own and I hope to assist in developing a more informed and mindful Omaha community that will embrace the continued integration of immigrants and refugees.

Charly Michaelis
Creighton University, Heider College of Business 2017
Summer Faith-Justice Intern with Omaha Together One Community


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