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Janicey Navarro Barajas

Intern at Center for Family Success

Janicey worked as an intern at our Center for Family Success in Portland during the 2022-2023 school year, while pursuing her associates degree at Portland Community College. The words shared below are some of her final reflections on her academic program and experience as part of The Pathfinder Network. 

Before I impulsively started this program, I was someone who was completely broken. I was experiencing a traumatic loss that pushed me to desperately seek purpose, change, or motivation. I had two little reasons to stay, but no drive to live. And so I decided that this goal of mine, this program, would be part of my healing journey; that it would motivate me enough to serve as my purpose.

Now, I’m someone who will continue to heal. But, this time it’s different. Now, I have the knowledge, tools, and resources to properly do so. I am now someone who is able to enjoy the tiny little things, like a kiss from the sun. I am now someone who can actually dream and reach for those dreams. I learned that I’m capable of going to college and succeeding. I learned that I truly have a passion for learning, and that no matter where life takes me, I will continue to learn and pass down knowledge. I also learned that I’m meant to do the work that I’m so passionate about.

I think we can all agree that one of the most important things we have learned and can do for ourselves in the human services field is to do this work without hurting ourselves. To genuinely practice self care and know what our boundaries are, as well as to always be aware and correct our biases as this work serves a variety of individuals in different environments and situations.

My future goals are to obtain my bachelors from Portland State University School of Social Work. Maybe a masters, maybe throw in a doctorate? I don’t know, I have all this new confidence and at this point I know I can do whatever I set my mind to. A personal goal of mine is to continue learning about myself, and accepting my experiences for who they shaped me to be, and just to keep going so that I can keep growing.

I want to thank my site supervisor Adele, who I truly believe I was meant to cross paths with. Adele took every opportunity that she had to teach me something, mentor me, and be there as a friend when I needed one. To Vic who took me under his wing and was always so excited to show me the ropes and who continuously supported me and my learning experience. Thank you Jess, Chioma, Tasha, Leticia, Sheri, and everyone at The Pathfinder Network for hosting me!