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On Track for Justice: An AFSC Intern Goes the Distance for Immigrant Rights

On Track for Justice: An AFSC Intern Goes the Distance for Immigrant Rights

Sara Crippen

Sara Crippen, left, prepares for the start of the women's college distance medley relay at the 2011 Drake Relays in Des Moines. Sara served as an intern with AFSC Iowa's Immigrants Voice Program during the spring semester. Click here to view a slideshow.

Photo: AFSC / Jon Krieg

If you want to catch Sara Crippen, you'd better lace up your track shoes. Tight.

A 2011 graduate of Central College in Pella, Iowa and a member of the Central track team, Sara served as an intern during the spring semester with AFSC Iowa's Immigrants Voice Program in Des Moines. Every Tuesday afternoon, Sara assisted Jody Mashek, IVP Legal Services Director, with walk-in hours. With a beaming smile, Sara offered a warm welcome to immigrants seeking a variety of immigration legal services, including family reunification.

Sara teamed with Mara Davidson, an intern from Drake University in Des Moines, to listen to and relay the stories of immigrants who come through our office.

Sara chose AFSC as a good place for her service learning project and her research into what economic factors influence immigration from Mexico. She says she learned a lot during her time at AFSC.

"There's a huge need for immigration legal services like these and a huge need to develop them further," Sara said. She learned that Iowa is a new home to people from around the world, not just from Mexico. Volunteering with AFSC is a "tangible way to help people," Sara said.

The immigration process can be very complex and stressful, and Sara found that she was good at listening to people's stories and helping them however she could. "My work with AFSC has really inspired me to do more work with immigrants," Sara added. To catch up with Sara's future plans, check out the audio clip above.