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Drew Roberson: Beyond Sunday Mass

College student learned about immigration issues while studying in Costa Rica

Published: September 1, 2019   
Courtesy Drew Roberson
Drew Roberson pauses between assignments on his Congressional summer internship. The young Catholic from Blessed Sacrament Church in Jonesboro plans to attend law school with an eye on immigration law.

Drew Roberson’s first taste of service to the Church came at a young age at the direction of his mother, Tamara. Growing up in Blessed Sacrament Church in Jonesboro, he was shown there was no shortage of ways to get involved.

“My mom helped me understand being a part of a church doesn’t mean just sitting in the pew every Sunday,” said Roberson, 21. “Being a part of the Church is being involved and to serve. It was very important to her that we were invested in the Church.”

Roberson served as an altar boy, helped at religious education and after being confirmed, worked with the older youth of the parish, too. Going to college at Arkansas State University, he admits, threw up some unexpected roadblocks but didn’t derail his spiritual life completely. He and another Catholic student set up a men’s Bible study group, mirroring the other faiths they saw on campus.

“Obviously, Catholics aren’t the big faith population in Jonesboro, Ark., so that was a struggle,” he said. “Our best Bible study was six or seven people, but I think we’ll grow it this year with new freshmen coming in.”

This summer, he got the chance to explore public service with a congressional internship that included serving in the offices of Arkansas Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Rick Crawford. He said his future plans include going to law school with an eye on immigration law.

“Honestly, I wasn’t thinking of immigration up until the summer of 2018 when I studied abroad in Costa Rica and learned a ton of Spanish,” he said. “That trip really changed my perspective on the whole immigration issue. Growing up in Arkansas, I was raised in a conservative household and I’m definitely conservative, but I gained empathy and wanting to figure out the root of the problem from the Costa Rica trip when I was with those families.”

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