Faith. Service. Community. The Christian Brothers University (CBU) motto is not just rhetoric but is internalized by the CBU community. Three CBU staff members and a CBU alum are taking the concepts of CBU’s motto to a new level by reaching out to the Latino immigrant community at-large. By producing a series of “how-to” videos that describe every day procedures that immigrants may have difficulty with, Dr. Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Soler-Rodriguez, Yancy Villa and Mauricio Calvo (CBU alum ’97) are changing lives among the fastest growing minority population in country.
In admiration of the work of Latino Memphis, Dr. Patrick Wilson, Dean of Graduate & Professional Studies, looked to the needs of the community. “Someone has the information and someone needs it,” states Wilson. “The question is how do you get that information across and the answer, to me, is technology.”
Wilson turned to his staff and asked for those with the interest and expertise to put together short video clips. Yancy Villa, Director of Student Development, felt a personal and moral call to help due to her Mexican heritage. “The Hispanic population is growing tremendously and we have the moral obligation to help our Memphis community by educating and helping all components of the society, no matter the color or the race,” Villa elaborates.
Jennifer Soler-Rodriguez, Instructional Designer, embraced the project because, as a Puerto Rican-American citizen, she comments “I have witnessed the hardship that many people go through trying to make a better life for themselves and their families in a foreign country.” In conjunction with Villa, Soler-Rodriquez began to construct ideas for a series of instructional videos.
These videos, recorded completely in Spanish, explain tasks such as registering their children for school, paying traffic tickets and the importance of getting vaccinated. Soler-Rodriguez notes, “For us these are everyday, mundane life-skills but to someone who is new to the U.S. and who is not accustomed to these events, [the procedures] may seem daunting, confusing, overwhelming and sometimes downright scary.”
The first instructional piece focuses on registering the U.S. born children of Latino immigrants for TennCare, Tennessee’s government issued medical insurance. These children need healthcare coverage but, as an immigrant, the procedures for acquiring insurance can be cumbersome. The video includes detailed instructions and helpful tips on the process of applying and receiving TennCare for their children.
As the first of many topics that need to be addressed, this CD is the beginning of the series. After the editing process is completed for the first CD, Latino Memphis–an agency that advocates for the betterment of the Latino community in Memphis in the areas of health, education and justice—will be the distribution center for the videos. Mauricio Calvo, Executive Director of Latino Memphis, has made plans for these short videos to be played throughout the day on a TV in the Latino Memphis office. In addition, copies of the CDs will be available for distribution from that office. The videos, along with the related forms and applications, will be able online on the CBU Web site for those who have access to a computer with Internet connection.
As Soler-Rodriguez states, “Ultimately, our goal with the project is not only to provide these resources to the Hispanic community, but also have them available to anyone who is interested in learning more about the resources available or simply to anyone who wants to help and get involved with the community.” ###