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Intern Reflection: Averill

1. What about volunteering is the most surprising to you (i.e., what did you least expect going into the experience) and what lesson(s) can you draw from this?


One of the most impactful moments/experiences that I had at Bayanihan Equity Center has been being able to see firsthand the experiences of the many Filipino veterans during World  War II through their Military Service Records. It made a great impact because it was like seeing a snapshot of their lives. By seeing where they were from in the Philippines and what they sacrificed for a country they were foreign to I was able to vicariously see what they might have experienced in the 1940’s. I feel that being able to be part of the process of helping Filipino Veterans get recognition for their service during World War II is an amazing experience to explore history outside of a textbook description.


2. What have you contributed to VEC so far? What types of tasks are you discovering that you enjoy or excel at completing? Which ones are less attractive or fulfilling?


A task that I enjoyed the most was the creative videos that I was able to do. My favorite project would be the compilation of videos I made that had all of the years of VEC and their important events. The project felt like a great contribution to the last few months of my internship because I was able to compile the rich history of the center and the work that has been done through the many years since its opened


3. What observations have you made about VEC and the South of Market (workplace and/or neighborhood environment)? Have your encounters with this community changed your perspective about yourself or this community? Have you changed any of your preconceived notions?

My observations of the South of Market area is that it’s a great representation of the climate of living in San Francisco. From high rise buildings to homeless folks in the streets of Mission and 6th, SOMA Pilipinas represents as a place of constant movement. This movement is for the community to serve individuals to better their lives and the constant movement of people from home to home in a competitive housing market. As someone who moved to the Bay Area I have become more aware of the privilege I have to be able to find a home here while also seeing that the experiences of San Francisco are in constant motion to improve the city for those who can afford to live here.

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