Katherine Urbaez is still deciding on a career path, but one thing she’s sure of is her learning style.
As someone who retains information most effectively by observing and performing hands-on tasks, Katherine was excited to participate in the BBA Summer Jobs program. She knew it would give her the chance to learn by watching and doing.
At the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), a state-wide poverty law and policy center, Katherine has kept busy translating fliers from English to Spanish to help make Spanish-speaking clients aware of different programs. In doing this, she also learned about programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and housing assistance programs that benefit the elderly and the poor.
“Until I started doing this, I didn’t know there was something out there that would help them,” Urbaez said.
Having recently graduated from Boston International High School, Urbaez says the thought of going to law school has crossed her mind. But as she prepares to start at UMass Lowell in the fall, she may be more interested in pursuing a career in social work. MLRI’s work to help low-income families achieve economic stability has helped solidify her interest in doing the same thing, she said.
When we caught up with Katherine, she had only spent a week on the job, but she said she was already comfortable.
“I was nervous that working for lawyers would be hard, but now [MLRI] is like my second house,” she said. “The work I do is because I want to do it. I’m really interested in it.”
Katherine also said she has sharpened other skills that are essential in the workplace, such as using Microsoft Excel to help track data. At the front desk, she is a friendly face that greets visitors when they step into MLRI’s suite.
“I am exploring things that I can do, things that will turn into experiences, which will help to increase my knowledge of serving and helping not just my community but the world,” Urbaez said of the Summer Jobs Program.
Katherine’s position at MLRI is one of the 11 BBA Summer Jobs positions funded by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). The BBF funds these internships not only to open up opportunities for Boston’s youth, but to also provide an extra set of hands at no cost to the agencies, offices and nonprofits that need it most.