Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.
Name: Sheila Soto
Position: Immigrants & Communities Intern
Hometown: Glenns Ferry, Idaho
About me: I am the first in my family to be born in these lovely United States of America! I am also the first in my family to be in college, hopefully my little brother will be the next! As of right now I am a 4th year student planning to receive my bachelors in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I LOVE school, and I still can’t imagine myself not attending once I graduate. I came to Nebraska about a year ago with my daughter Ximena in my belly, and now she is a year old! I am trying hard to help Ximena not be as shy as I am by bringing her to Appleseed with me. I love my daughter so much and I want her to learn from a young age the importance of helping others out. That is the important thing to remember when volunteering/interning, the work we do not only helps others, but it also teaches us a lot about ourselves. We discover or reassure our passions! I have always thought one of my biggest motivations has been my identity. Therefore, I find it important to help others protect and stand up for their identities.
Why Appleseed?: Since I left Idaho, I left a lot of things behind besides my friends and family. I was always involved in as many organizations as I could be every semester. But when I came here my priorities changed, and honestly, all I did was go straight home after school to be with my little one. So when the opportunity arose to work with Nebraska Appleseed, of course I took it. Though, I must admit that at the beginning I didn’t know how much it meant to people here in Nebraska!
I think I have already gained a lot since I have been in Appleseed. Especially because I see the “backstage” work everyone does to get things done. Things like cutting and counting postcards, to making brochures. These are things that I never really thought about, but they are important to organizations. When I was given the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., for the April 10 Immigration Rally, it was the best experience ever! Talking to representatives or their assistants was an chance to learn how the whole “system” works. It is way different reading about congressmen than actually sitting face-to-face with them. And the vibe of all the people at the Immigration Rally was amazing truly an experience I still think about!
What are your future plans: My future plans are still a bit unclear to me, especially since I want to do a lot of things! Working with the sociology department has made me really excited about doing research with different ethnicities, but I just can’t imagine myself in an office all day. But, I really would like to have my own non-profit someday. I want it to be geared to at-risk teens and families who might need guidance. I have always had huge dreams about all the resources they would be able to get out of “my” organization, but interning here I have learned that organizations need to work together to help everyone.