By:  Alexis Cummins

East LA has truly been a sight to see, from the tall palm trees to the really short people all in which welcomed us with open palms. We have only been here for twelve hours (4 p.m. right now), yet I have learned so much. I don’t want to over-glorify California, but it really is everything you read of and see in the movies, well the good parts at least. Everything from the four menu items of In n Out, the Sunday morning Mass at the Dolores Mission, the great tacos de asada, and the really crowded Mercado, within each experience the cultural aspect was the best. The people here are proud of who they are and that pride and joy shows through with every smile and thanks they give. Today is also Mother’s Day so there is a burst of love in the air.

Everything is great, but we have to remember that every beautiful rose in the meadow is attached to a stem with thorns. Today we had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the Union Rescue Mission foundation. The most impactful part of today was the drive to the URM. The view of the neighborhood was really a sight to see. Many people can agree that they have seen or learned about poverty, but here it is different. Sharing my “in-the-moment” thoughts, I had to be reminded that poverty is not a commodity and is not wanted in the backyards of the more-privileged. This breathtaking sights of today have helped me confirm that my studies in the Human Services field is the only field for me that is worth serving. I have to help others reach their potential–no matter their age or race.