What Cortina Was to Me: Invigorating

Three of my four college years were spent living and engaging in the Cortina Community. To say these three years were life changing would not be giving them enough credit. In many ways I am both jealous of and excited for the upcoming freshman class for the having the opportunity to be a part of this community when beginning their journey at Creighton. However, I was blessed to be challenged and inspired by my peers, resident advisors, and those whom I served (yes, service was not a one way street) all while being a part of a caring community.

Before becoming a part of Cortina, I was ignorant and happy to be so.  Through our Sunday community time, service sites, and community conversations, I was challenged to actually open my eyes and confront the injustices in our society.  Service at Siena Francis, a local homeless shelter, started as an uncomfortable endeavor for me.  How was I, a 20 year old college student, suppose to connect with someone who lost their home, job, and is struggling with addiction?  For some reason I could not get around the prejudices I walked into Siena Francis with.  However, week after week, I returned to serve breakfast and participate in their weekly celebration of sobriety.  Slowly, I began to get to know the clients of Siena Francis and was able to see them for individuals they were as opposed to defining them by their homelessness.

These moments at Siena Francis, along with a service trip centered around homelessness in Denver, ignited my passion and shaped my post-graduate plans.  By addressing my prejudices and deciding to focusing my energy on the issue of homelessness, I ended up a volunteer at a transitional housing facility in Omak, Washington.  Sure, my case may be slightly more drastic compared to most of my peers, but Cortina provided a safe space where I could confront my ignorant attitude.  I was able to reflect on my beliefs, be exposed to social justice issues, expand my comfort zone and gain meaningful relationships, all of which was done alongside my peers and supervisors.

One word to describe my Cortina experience: Invigorating.
-Kayla Zobel
A Cortinian in 2009-2010, A Cortina RA from 2010-2012
kayla zobel

Tuesday Newsday [2.26.12]

SNOW EVERYWHERE!!!

But, there is also other stuff going on! Grab a hot chocolate and let’s get informed, shall we?

National News

75 influential Republicans have signed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing FOR gay marriage. This monumental action may actually have an influence on the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in the Supreme pipeline. Read about the brief here!

The U.S. Senate has finally approved an up-or-down vote for Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nomination for Secretary of Defense. The official vote of approval should take place at 330 central time today, and Hagel is expected to be approved. Click here for some background info on this absurdly long confirmation process.

In response to expected budget cuts, the ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) have begun releasing detainees from immigration detention centers. The deportation cases have not been dropped, the individuals are on “supervised release.” Read about the unprecedented move here.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is has eliminated working from home from the company’s policy. The move has ignited some serious controversy.

Local News

The number of individuals seeking assistance from shelters like the Sienna-Francis house is increasing at a staggering rate. Read about it here.

Omaha Fashion is one of the many Omaha cultural icons continuing to put the city on the national map.

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Thanks for reading! Stay informed, stay warm, and me mindful of those who are neither.

Westin

 

 

Photo Friday: Dignity Shots

helpphoto

We forget that even things like Holiday cards can be a matter of separating those who “have ” and those who “have not.” While some are busy sending out the most beautiful picture of their beautiful children in front of a beautiful tree on their beautiful vacation, enclosed with a letter about all the beautiful things that they have done this year (and, what a wonderful thing to be able to do), Some are not able to participate in this cultural rite. To not be able to send a litany of fun and successful things you have done, or to not have a photo that looks “send-able,” or to not have an address to which these holiday cards can be sent–all of these things are barriers to participation.

One non-profit, Help Portrait, has seen this need and is working with their homeless friends to address it-via the camera lens. While many of these people may not be sending out their photos to loved ones–they are receiving evidence they can carry around of their own beauty and worth.

Help Portrait says that they want to make sure that the Homeless know that  “they are valuable, respected and important members of our communities. That they may be looked past on a daily basis but . . . they are beautiful and worthy people who may just need to see it in their hands to understand what we mean.”

Click here to read more of this beautiful story, and about the lives that have been affected by it.

Click here to see a gallery of photos.