"...I can see how my work is making a difference in other people’s lives and in my own life..."
Alumna: Alison De Rooy, '11
Majors: Spanish and Recreation
Current position: Administrative Assistant for The Association for a More Just Society
After graduating from Calvin in January of 2012 with a double major in Spanish and Recreational Therapy, I worked a variety of part time jobs while looking for a full time job. I was able to use my Spanish speaking abilities in almost all of my part time jobs as there are many needs for Spanish speakers in Grand Rapids. In November of 2012, I heard about a job opening with The Association for a More Just Society (AJS), a Christian non-profit working primarily against violence and corruption in Honduras.
I had first heard of AJS during my Calvin semester abroad in Honduras in 2011, and knew that the mission and vision of AJS aligned with my personal values and beliefs. Although I had little administrative experience, I was hired as the Administrative Assistant for AJS in the USA. My job involves a lot of data entry, proposal writing, translating, and communication between Honduras, the USA, and Canada. Although the work can be tedious, I enjoy being a part of a bigger picture working to bring peace and justice to Honduras and working to educate others about what it means to be a Brave Christian. I was able to return to Tegucigalpa, Honduras in January 2013 as an AJS employee to attend a board meeting and to celebrate AJS’ 15th anniversary, which was a great experience to directly see what AJS is doing in Honduras.
Something that I have learned while working for AJS is the idea of being a brave Christian. My coworker Jill Van Beek (Director of Operations AJS, Calvin Alum 2009) and I often give presentations to churches, schools, and supporters about the work of AJS and about what it means to be a brave Christian in today’s world. When we ask the audience to give us a word that describes a Christian, nobody uses the word brave. Although historically and biblically the word brave has described many Christians, it has somehow lost part of its meaning for Christians today. One of the theme verses of AJS is 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” This verse is applicable to almost all areas of life and to all ages of people. It means standing up for the kids being bullied, being honest and telling the truth even when it’s hard, loving and forgiving continuously, and letting your fear be driven out by perfect love.
Although I studied at Calvin College to be a therapist and did not imagine myself in the career I have chosen, I can see how my work is making a difference in other people’s lives and in my own life. It is truly a blessing to be able to work for something that I am so passionate about. Even though Honduras currently has the highest homicide rate in the world, there are brave Hondurans working every day to bring peace and justice to their country. It is inspiring to see so many brave people standing up for what they believe in even amidst corruption and violence and I hope to inspire others to Do Justice and to Love Fearlessly in their own communities. For more information about AJS, please visit our website at www.ajs-us.org.