A Day in the Life of a Youth Commission Intern

Hello, my name is Eric Perez and I am an intern from the San Francisco Youth Commission. I wanted to speak about a fun experience I had at an obstacle course that took place outside of city hall a few weeks ago! This was perfect timing because we are in the heat of attempting to get the House to pass immigration reform legislation. The obstacle course event was set up by the Causa Justa Organization and sponsored by the SF Bay Coalition for Immigrant Justice to represent the struggles an undocumented resident of America would have to go through to achieve their citizenship. They created a serious of physically interactive obstacles that represented each step one would take in this process.

It started with a life scenario we were each given. In my case I was an older man with back problems who was only able to work a small amount of hours, which made things even harder for me because you are required to provide continuous proof of employment throughout your process to citizenship. My first step was becoming documented, and I did so by shooting small plush balls into a garbage can. You were required to make the ball into the can ten times in order to receive documentation. Once documented, I was asked to jump rope my way through employment. Then I was to hop through an obstacle of boxes on one foot. Then I was to carry a book on my head from one point in the grass to another. It was here that I failed to complete the obstacle three times and I was captured by ICE officers and thrown into jail!

This happens to many immigrants in real life too. They are put in jail or deported after years of hard work in attempt to become a documented citizen. Overall this was a really fun experience! I thought this was a brilliant idea and a really cool learning experience. Although I am interested in the subject, I think this obstacle course would be fun for everyone even those who are not interested in the topic of immigration!

-Blog written by YouthWorks intern Eric Perez