This week’s Vision of Mercy Summer Fellowship Spotlight: Conexión Latina Newport

(Lia-Sophie Keller ’23, standing out front of Conexion Latina Newport)

My name is Lia-Sophie and I am a senior at Salve Regina. I chose to do my Vision of Mercy fellowship at Conexion Latina Newport. Conexion Latina provides resources to all Spanish speakers in our community. It is their vision that Newport will be a city where all public Government, community and  educational agencies will be capable of meeting the needs of the Hispanic community, will be fully accessible and will be a comfortable place for them to receive and give help and support.

My first few days at Conexion Latina Newport have been very informative and have inspired me to help people in our community have access to the same resources and opportunities as the rest of us.

Sitting in the office, I have experienced first hand how difficult it is for a Spanish speaking citizen to find resources that cater to their needs. A young woman came in needing help with getting her payroll. It took countless calls and emails over 2 hours to help her and to find Spanish speaking customer service on the other line. I have also seen how valuable the resources Conexion Latina offers are. They offer workshops on things like buying your first home, school registration etc. all in Spanish,and they also offer Vaccination clinics. Conexion Latina Newport addresses the root concern of Immigration. They help to remove root causes in our community to provide better access and all around a better life for the immigrants on Aquidneck Island.

The specific tasks that I have been given is creating a list of all of the Employers in Rhode Island, writing them a letter and asking them to provide information about our organization to their employees. I have also been updating the website, making it more representable to community partners and to better inform our community on the good work we are doing and informing them on how they can help! Next, I have written down the 4-5 main Immigration cases that Conexion Latina encounters. In the next few weeks I will be calling through a list of lawyers asking them which cases they would accept, how much they would cost and how long it would take. Tasks such as these directly tackle the issues related to Immigration that our friends and neighbors encounter. I am looking forward to the next few months working alongside incredible people and learning more about the problems in our community and how I can help.