By Xixi Liu
Anneris Goris is a volunteer Spanish interpreter and translator for Safe Passage. She has been volunteering and helping Safe Passage for over a year now.
Anneris attended Hunter College for her undergraduate studies where she obtained a bachelors degree in Sociology and Psychology. She also obtained a Master of Science in Social Research in 1982 and a Master of Social Work in 2005. In 1994, Anneris received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Fordham University.
Anneris came into contact with Safe Passage roughly a year ago while she was watching television. She saw an announcement about Safe Passage and it touched her heart. As an immigrant herself, she knew about the struggles and challenges that our Safe Passage children are facing.
Anneris emigrated from Dominican Republic in 1966. At the time, there was less diversity in the United States which made it harder for her to adjust. The English language and culture was a big barrier for Anneris. It was difficult for her to understand English as a child and it was difficult for her to connect to others. She mentioned that receiving an education was also difficult because of the language barrier. Her immigration history and her work experience triggered her interest in Safe Passage.
Anneris has been doing community work for over 30 years. She was teacher for numerous colleges and universities in New York such as: Boricua College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and Yeshiva University. Through her experiences she realized that many people are not able to fulfill their goals in education and as such she decided to become a social worker to help these people reach their goals.
Assisting Safe Passage allows Anneris to make sure the families get what they need within the short time-frame that they have in immigration court. To Anneris, the hardest part about translating for the children of Safe Passage is putting into words the feelings they have and listening to the stories the children have to tell.
She thinks that Safe Passage provides a way for people to integrate into the American system, making the journey a little easier knowing that there is a team of people here ready to support and help them.