For about three weeks, Isabelle “Izzy” Jones helped a 10-year-old Honduran boy brush up on his English while he was staying at the Kino Border Initiative shelter in Nogales, Mexico, before seeking asylum in the United States with his mother.
“It was really amazing to see how resilient he was and how excited he was to read a book. He was crying when he said goodbye to us,” the 20-year-old said. “That moment really showed me we’re able to accompany; accompaniment doesn’t stop when they leave. I may never see him again, but there’s things I can do to make sure the next boy that comes in has the same opportunity.”
Jones, who grew up attending Blessed Sacrament Church and School in Jonesboro, is a junior at the Jesuit-run Boston College, majoring in international studies with a minor in public health initiatives.
Social justice is her passion. In high school, Jones started a chapter of Moms Demand Action, advocating for protection against gun violence. She is the lead coordinator in Arkansas for Telehealth Access for Seniors, a nonprofit helping seniors and low-income communities access technology to connect them to medical care. Jones’ one-month internship in July with Kino, a Jesuit nonprofit, opened her eyes to the needs of immigrants. Kino provides meals for more than 900 people daily.
“When you talk about social justice, that’s not an isolated conversation from your own faith. To truly live out your own faith is to affirm the dignity of all,” Jones said.
The Kino mantra “humanize, accompany, complicate” resonates with her.
“I think the biggest thing is to look beyond the headlines and news stories you see and try to seek out personal stories” of immigrants, she said.
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