Veronica Recinos ’10 said she considers it her duty to help others. For the past three years, she volunteered a total of 330 hours at the Dolores Mission’s Base Communities and Underwings at Impacto After School Program.
“Loyola Marymount University has such a focus on social justice, and I feel like I have to use all of the tools I’ve been lucky enough to have received to give back,” said Recinos, a sociology and Spanish double major. “Volunteering has opened my eyes to a community that I never knew existed and helped me find my passion.”
In recognition of her efforts, Recinos received a Riordan Community Service Award in April. Each year, the Riordan Foundation honors six LMU undergraduate students for outstanding contributions in community service.
“I’m really honored to receive the Riordan award and recognized for the work at Dolores Mission,” Recinos said. “I hope to use this opportunity to spread awareness about the program so more people can learn about it and get involved.”
Each week, Recinos traveled to East Los Angeles to participate in the base community group Obreras de Jesus, or Arms of Jesus. The faith-based group consisted mostly of Spanish-speaking women who used their faith in the Gospels to promote action in their community. They organized peace walks to grieve with the families of victims of gang violence, advocated for more police in their neighborhoods and for immigrant rights, and educated the community on various social issues.
“I fell in love with the people and the community. I needed to go every week. It became a part of my week’s routine,” Recinos said. “Their driving force is their faith in God. My faith and spirituality grew from working with these women.”
Veronica plans on pursuing a career in community organizing as a social worker so she can help rectify the injustices that underprivileged communities encounter on a daily basis.
“There was so much strength and power in the community. I hope to do so much more because I have been granted much more opportunities. Hopefully, I can give back as much as I’ve received,” Recinos said.
Posted July 15, 2010