Monday, May 25, 2015

Student Reflection

by Nicole Tauster

Knowing Your Audience

Obviously in the course Spanish and Entrepreneurship we are going to discuss entrepreneurship, but particularly social entrepreneurship. Throughout the semester one of the most important things we talked about was the fact that you have to create something that would solve a problem in the community and/or provide a needed product or service. If you don’t create something of value, what purpose will it serve? No one is going to want or need it and you won’t be making any difference. In order to really help a community or a specific group of people, you have to know what it is they need.

I think CU Immigration Project struggles somewhere around here… They are a wonderful organization, one that I had the opportunity to volunteer with a few times this semester, but they are lacking the knowledge to truly progress and make a difference. It’s not that they don’t know what the Latin American immigrants in the Champaign-Urbana need or that they aren’t providing useful services, because they are. They have passionate people working to help advocate for immigration rights and the resources to help people. The problem is that they just don’t know their audience well enough.

I volunteered to help at workshops CU Immigration Project put on to teach people about DACA and DAPA and how to check if they were eligible, apply, etc. And both times hardly anyone showed up. There were always plenty of volunteers, but no one for them to help. I thought it was very strange, especially considering each workshop was at a different time of day and different location. The second one was supposedly even more advertised than the first, yet even less people attended. One of the women in charge of the events actually confessed to me that she didn’t know why so few people were showing up. She speculated maybe some had to work during the day and so they were unable to attend, or perhaps they were afraid and thought that the legal processes were a trap. She admitted she didn’t know and needed to find out.

I myself can only speculate as to why hardly anyone attended these events, but it is up CU Immigration Project to investigate the causes for lack of attendance. They have so much to offer, but until they truly get to understand their target audience they will not be as successful as they can be.

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