Tahirih is me. As a Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow at the Tahirih Justice Center, I have grown not only as a woman, but also learned how to be good advocate for others. My experience so far has been a fruitful, yet eye opening to the political world we live in at the moment. The Tahirih Justice Center is a non-profit organization working to serve women and young girls fleeing domestic violence from their home countries or here in the United States. It is an organization that caters to the needs of those who are fighting a daily battle to not only live, but also to survive. Though I have only been a part of this organization for a few months, Tahirih has already embedded in me the values of commitment, service and the importance of raising my voice.
As I on-boarded the Tahirih team, I quickly began to feel like I was already a part of the group. I immediately started to work closely with the legal team doing a variety of tasks including transferring cases from one attorney to another, sitting in on client meetings, serving as an interpreter, drafting court motions for family law purposes, and managing legal administrative tasks. My position as the Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow at Tahirih has been a very unique one because I have been able to get my feet wet in all aspects of the organization. Not only have I had the pleasure of working with the legal team, I have also expanded my professional development by attending community based events led by the Social Service department as well as being a member of the Care Team initiative group. For the past 4 months I have been at Tahirih, I have experienced more than I could imagine. Especially as a Fellow, I have been to adapt and use the skills I have developed during the Fellowship enrichment program workshops to make my work place more efficient and cohesive.
My experience at Tahirih has allowed me to become someone that can continue to handle any type of adversity that comes their way. In other words, Tahirih has kept me on my feet! It has allowed me to adapt to situations with natural grace and commitment to the women we serve. Tahirih has provided a humble realization that as humans we are all interconnected to one another in some way. And most importantly, Tahirih has enabled me to consciously always be aware of my power as not only a woman, but as a woman of color and of worth. While I continue this journey as the Newman’s Own Foundation Fellow at Tahirih, my desire and hope is to continue to craft the best advocate I could be for others as well as to discover new interests along the way.
By Cindy Cruz, NOF Fellow at Tahirih Justice Center, Falls Church, VA