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First-generation American gives back at Providence Family Services in Chicago

Carla Hernandez is a first-generation American and a first generation college student. Growing up in a family that emigrated from Mexico and as a child of a single parent, Carla is keenly aware of the needs of immigrant families and their struggles. This understanding has impacted her life goals.

As a third-year student at DePaul University in Chicago, Carla has taken advantage of an opportunity to serve as an intern at Providence Family Services (PFS) in Chicago.

DePaul University intern Carla Hernandez works with two children in the after- school homework club at Providence Family Services in Chicago.

Providence Family Services is a not-for-profit ministry of the Sisters of Providence that serves the largely Hispanic population in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Providence Family Services provides sliding scale bi-lingual counseling, English as a Second Language classes, computer classes, citizenship classes, and an after-school homework club in which volunteer tutors help neighborhood children whose parents may not speak English well enough to assist them with homework at home.

“I have been able to work with the groups of people that I am most interested in assisting as I head closer towards my career path. My goal is to become a social worker and to help the underserved community, which is what PFS caters to every single day,” Carla said.

Carla and Yesenia Villalobos, also a third-year DePaul student intern, work 15 hours a week, largely with Providence Family Services after-school homework club. They also assist with clerical work, answer doors and phones and act as translators.

Sister Patty Fillenwarth, founder and director of Providence Family Services, is impressed by the students from DePaul.

“They are so enthusiastic, and they are bright. They like to help. They really come to do service. They are a wonderful help,” Sister Patty said.

Read more about our student interns at Providence Family Services. For more information on services offered or volunteer opportunities available at Providence Family Services, visit www.ProvidenceFamilyServices.org or call 773-235-8264.

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Amy Miranda

Amy Miranda is a Providence Associate of the Sisters of Providence and a staff member in their Mission Advancement office. Amy is a 1998 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She currently manages the SP publication HOPE and works on marketing support for Providence Associates, new membership and Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

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