A heart for service

CECILIA GARCIA

Staff Writer

cgarciavazquez@goshen.edu

 

Last June, Dominique Chew (GC 2015) joined the staff of the Center for Healing & Hope (CHH) in downtown Goshen. Chew, originally from Hesston, Kansas, works with the organization to provide affordable medical and immigrant services in a Christ-like manner to members of the community.

In her roles as office manager and immigrant resource coordinator, Chew coordinates volunteers for the clinic and schedules appointments. In addition, much of her current work consists of helping with the process of issuing Goshen Resident ID cards (GRID cards).

After graduating from GC, Chew moved to New York where she served at the United Nations.

“I was at the UN and had a really poor experience there,” she said. “I came back to Goshen after living in New York City because I needed to heal.”

Prior to joining CHH, Chew worked at GC, where she taught English as a second language to Spanish-speaking adults.

“I realized that when you start to work with a population for a while the burdens that they carry sort of become your burdens and become things that you care about a lot,” Chew said. 

She loves interacting with people in the Goshen community, and although her work takes a lot of time and effort, she enjoys seeing that the community really wants and values it.

Among her biggest struggles is recruiting volunteers for the clinic that will actually stay. 

“Volunteerism is something that’s really valued in this community, but I think that it’s also maybe something that is shifting in people’s sense of values,” Chew said.

“To get people like college kids, to get a younger generation is really, really difficult and I think that part of it is because volunteering is something that our generation is not that into anymore.”

Despite being faced with challenges like these, Chew’s time at GC allowed her to live new experiences and meet people that have influenced her perspective.

“Goshen College as a community gave me opportunities to interact with young people who were visionaries, or dreamers, or had a lot of big ideas and passions,” she said. “To be able to be around other young people who were thinking critically about their place in the world and community was very meaningful to me.”

GC builds its academic program on five core values: Christ-centeredness, passionate learning, servant leadership, compassionate peacemaking and global citizenship. Even after graduating, Chew still thinks about them and finds herself using them in her career.

“As cliche as it might sound, global citizenship is something that is so beneficial,” she said. “To be able to interact regularly with people who are different than you… and to be able to have opportunities to travel to places that are unfamiliar and where you are an outsider and [where] it’s difficult to navigate. You have to have that to be able to work in the real world.”

Her experience at GC shaped her work today in a profound way, but she was unaware that working at CHH or volunteering in her community was something that she would end up doing in the future.

The year after Chew graduated from GC was perhaps the hardest of her life, which she was not anticipating. After having gone through that experience, she wants other students know that, although the transition may be hard, they will get through it and find something they enjoy doing and care about.

“I think that everyone has phases in their life… [I’m doing] exactly the things that I find valuable right now.”

During her time at CHH, she hopes to be challenged, to learn even more from other people, and to push others outside of their comfort zone.

Written by Record

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