June 14, 2017
We are pleased to announce that FrancisCorps 17 alum, Johanna Cajina has been hired as the new Associate Director of FrancisCorps! The new position of Associate Director will help strengthen the FrancisCorps program by providing support across the administration of the program but will focus primarily on the recruitment and introduction of FrancisCorps to potential volunteers. Johanna’s experience as an alum and familiarity with the Franciscan spirit make her a wonderful ambassador to help share the potential found in a year of service with FrancisCorps!
Here’s a brief background on Johanna in her own words:
It brings me great joy to join FrancisCorps as the new Associate Director! As a Junior at Catholic University, I had my first interaction with this wonderful organization as part of a mission trip to Alajuela, Costa Rica with FrancisCorps’ founder Brother Jim Moore. While hearing the volunteers’ firsthand experience about service and seeing their interactions with other community members, I knew FrancisCorps stood out from other post-graduate service organizations due to its focus on those two aspects. It came as no surprise that, after graduating Catholic University with two Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Hispanic Studies as well as minoring in History and Latin American and Latino Studies, I decided to join FrancisCorps as a volunteer in Costa Rica.
During my year of service, I served at Niño con Cariño, a home for girls with limited economic opportunities and high social risk. While there, I became even more passionate about social justice and immigration, particularly given my background as a first-generation immigrant from Nicaragua, as many of the girls at Niño originally came from my home country. After completing my service experience, I had a strong desire to continue learning from and working alongside others on issues extending from social to economic injustices in broader international environments. Shortly afterwards, I moved to San José, Costa Rica to work as a research analyst and translator for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where I focused on border crossings in the Central American region, and served as a Spanish translator during court sessions. Although I leave behind many great memories from my time in Costa Rica, I am beyond excited to be part of an organization that holds my deepest admiration and respect.