Martha Morales, InSteppe, Inc.
"We recently partnered with the Duke Service-Learning Program, and I would like to explain the immeasurable support we gained from working with Dr. Ana Fernandez (Spanish 308S) and her students.
"InStepp, Inc. is a Durham-based nonprofit organization that helps at-risk women in the Triangle become self-sufficient through gender-responsive education, training, and prevention programs. One of our programs, Nueva Vida ("New Life") helps Latino women who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking, or are under- or unemployed. Dr. Ana Fernandez and her students with Duke Service-Learning provided outstanding support of Nueva Vida's main event, our conference to celebrate the International Women's Day.
"InStepp, Inc. is a lean organization, so we relied a lot on Dr. Fernandez's Service-Learning course to prepare for our sixth annual International Women's Day conference, which is completely free and open to the public. Many of the Triangle area’s Hispanic-Latino community attend, so having this class of highly fluent or native Spanish speakers help us was wonderful. We had many students help behind the scenes in translating our conference program into Spanish, creating bilingual signs and flyers, and assisting with printing.
"Students took time out of their busy schedules to volunteer on the day of the conference, March 8, 2017, and they assisted with set-up, clean-up, registration, and photography. If something needed to be done, I had a Duke student there offering to help. We also had several students help us solicit food donations so we could provide free lunch to all attendees. Each and every student played an integral role in the success of our conference.
"I must also commend Dr. Ana Fernandez's dedication to InStepp. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her, and from our initial planning meeting up to the day of the conference, she truly went above and beyond what we asked of her. Dr. Fernandez ensured that the absolutely essentials tasks for our conference got completed. She provided excellent guidance to her students and came to our conference to help us in any way we needed.
"On behalf of our entire staff at InStepp, Inc. I want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Ana Fernandez and her students for their hard work and support. Our conference simply would not have been as successful without them. It truly was a great experience working with the young men and women of the Duke Service-Learning program, and we hope to be able to partner with this program again in the future."