Featured Traveler of the Month: Brisa Hernandez

The Center for International Understanding, through its many programs, has given North Carolina teachers and community leaders the opportunity to travel all over the globe. They have gained perspectives on education and community building in other countries, and applied that knowledge to their own communities throughout North Carolina. More than 8,000 individuals have traveled to 48 countries with a CIU delegation. In this special blog series, we’ll feature delegates that are making a difference in their community and applying what they learned from a CIU program.

This month, we get to know Brisa Hernandez, Research Coordinator at Carolinas Healthcare System.

BH_MexicoProgram:

Latino Initiative 2012

Describe your background:

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, a state with a long immigration history. Both of my parents immigrated from Mexico City in 1970.

What have you gained from participating in the program?

I now have a better understanding of immigration and its impact both for the country of origin and the receiving countries. Through the Latino Initiative program, I have built a great network of colleagues locally in my county and across the state.

How have you applied what you learned in your own community?

Our group is keeping the conversation going by making presentations to local leaders and developing a coalition of health and social service providers. They will continue to discuss best practices and share their experiences in working with the immigrant community with the hopes of impacting policy.

What was your “ah ha” moment?

My “ah ha” moment was when I really understood the true meaning of immigration and it’s impact on individuals. My parents immigrated, yet I don’t think I fully understood what that experience was like for them until now.

Why is CIU’s Latino Initiative program important to North Carolina/Mexico?

The Latino Initiative program through CIU helps community leaders develop an understanding of what is happening here and abroad. It would be wonderful to have a group come here and so we can share what North Carolina has in place, as they did for us.

What advice do you have for future travelers?

Be sure to leave all of your assumptions and “expertise” behind; really listen and be open to learning something new.

Speak Your Mind