Fearless: Emily Hauck
Beginning with an interest in Spanish language that led her to Argentina and Spain, Emily decided to use the language skills she acquired during her gap year after high school and time spent studying abroad to get herself connected to the Latino community in Adams County. Volunteering with different organizations and programs like the LIU #12 Migrant Education Programs, Casa de la Cultura, and El Centro, Emily started seeing the big picture—making connections between the immigration stories, people she was meeting, and the greater national dialogue on immigration issues.
During her Heston Summer Experience in Gettysburg, her passion for promoting immigration reform and protecting immigrants’ rights only grew, and is currently looking at pursuing a career centered on issues of immigration, whether in terms of advocacy, policy, or law. This year she has continued to press on toward her goal, writing her capstone paper about immigration policy, becoming a PLA for El Centro, and being selected as the student leader for the US/Mexico Border Immersion Project.
The Immersion Project, led by Emily and Jorge Pérez-Rico, Community Liaison at Center for Public Service, took several Gettysburg College students and two community members who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to the US/Mexico border to discuss immigration issues, not as sanitized foreign concepts or theories, but as real issues and injustices ingrained in US policy, law, society, and culture. “I was overwhelmed,” says Emily, “by the injustices that many undocumented immigrants face here in the US.”
The group of students also spent time meeting with both documented and undocumented immigrants, hearing firsthand about their experiences and struggles. “Most immigrants enter the US to find a better life for their families because they have exhausted all of their resources back in their home countries,” says Emily. “The majority specifically say they just want their children to get an education and have hope for the future.”
Experiencing border checkpoints, needing border officers to check paperwork and IDs, volunteering in food pantries, and visiting farms and food centers devoted to food justice all proved powerful and meaning experiences for Emily and her group. “This trip to Texas,” says Emily, “really made me realize that I want to have a career working to protect immigrants’ rights.”
Through all of her experience, Emily has come to understand the seriousness of the injustices faced by immigrants as caused by systemic issues ingrained in US politics, priorities, and mentalities. More than just a volunteer, more than just a student, Emily has become an informed and passionate advocate for justice.