My name is Saraí Muñiz, and I am excited to be joining the Grassroots community as the North Waco Community Organizer this summer. I was born and raised in The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and have been in Waco for four years. During these last four years, I attended Baylor University and received a Master of Divinity from Truett Seminary and a Master in Social Work from the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. In these last four years, I was able to get connected to the Spanish-speaking community and had the privilege of serving in various spaces. The deep connections and meaningful relationships I made with those around me led me to fall in love with Waco and stay and serve the community.
Growing up on the southern border gave me a love for the immigrant community, and through the school of social work, I could be in internships that served this population. In the first year of my master’s, I interned with Greater Waco Legal Services, working alongside the attorneys to support the clients in their immigration journey. I was exposed to the legal realities that immigrants face and the excellent work that spaces like Greater Waco engage in. During my time there, I learned about the power of someone’s story and the importance of being culturally humble in engagement. Greater Waco opened my eyes to the power of someone’s voice, and I became curious about how I could be a part of supporting those around me.
In my final year of school, I had the tremendous privilege of supporting DaySpring Baptist Church with the launching of a new ministry called Naomi House through my internship. At the Naomi House, I supported the ministry through case management for the residents, organizational support, and advocacy. While at the Naomi House, I was exposed more in-depth to the reality refugees and asylum seekers experience on their journey to the USA. I also learned to listen more intently, the power of advocacy, and what happens when communities come together to make a change. As I wrapped up my internship, I knew I wanted to continue the work of supporting community members and was looking for ways to engage in the Waco community more deeply.
I have learned and engaged with such wonderful people in North Waco and look forward to continuing to be present and supporting community members in their work.