Post 2: Social Justice and The Center

Hello everyone! Lesbia Espinal here once again sharing my summer experience. (

I am Lesbia, currently a junior to be at Brandeis, majoring in Computer Science and Health Policy with a Business minor.

Last semester, I took a class called Health, Community and Society (Sociology 191a). Taking this class opened my eyes to a world many of us sometimes do not want to admit exists: the world of social injustices. This class introduced me to many readings and one of them was called “Saving Normal.” This reading talked about how the word “normal” can have different significance depending on who defines it. The Center Houston then takes this concept of “normal” and turns it into “you choose your normal.”

The Center helps/ welcomes people with disabilities. Another thing that I learned during my sociology class was the fact that people with disabilities have this label of “sickness.” This label is just a way many people like to separate disabled people from the rest.

Social justice is one of The Center’s main goals, which is reflected in every interview, picture, and press release I write. My experience at Brandeis has taught me to fight for what is right! The Center truly appreciates their clients and being part of that is such a blessing.

Learning for me is a step closer to succeeding. It’s great that I learned about disabilities before my summer internships because now I am able to apply my knowledge to hands on work. My work at The Center mostly concentrates on awareness and planning fundraisers. Being part of the marketing team is my way of merging into the not-for-profit world, because I believe that the magic happens with a strong marketing team.

Even through difficult situations such as hurricane Harvey, The Center is still serving their clients. For almost two weeks I have been part of relocation planning for The Center. Hurricane Harvey damaged housing and the department of adult training, where clients learned skills that can help them obtain a job. The concept of helping and serving others is my favorite part of The Center, which makes me look forward to every day I spend there.

Hurricane Harvey at The Center

The Center is grateful to the volunteers that came out of their homes to help during Harvey. Damage caused by the hurricane led to losses in profits that go towards training clients, housing maintenance, programs and paying employees. However, every year The Center promotes the #Biketothebeach challenge. Funds raised during the race will go towards The Center foundation, which are greatly needed after Harvey.

A partner of the #Biketothebeach race creates a simulation that allows clients of The Center to also be part race challenge. The concept of healthy bodies is also something that is greatly appreciated by clients when they participate in  weekly spin classes, which are taught by volunteer of Pursuitride.

Lastly,  The Center’s vision is one of creating social justice in the community.

P.S. I got my office this week and I couldn’t be happier about it and all the work that I will be doing through the summer!