By Steven Olender
Growing up in a small town in Bulgaria, Radina Boneva imagined a future working in diplomatic foreign affairs.
After moving to Madrid for university, where she studied Political Science and Public Administration, she instead took a job working in immigration services for Madrid. Her work there involved helping recent immigrants access the assistance they needed to settle in their new home. “It wasn’t what I was thinking about when I started studying at 19, but I loved my work,” she says. “Working with people from all over the world was really enriching.”
Four years ago, Radina and her husband moved to the United States, living first in New York before moving to Austin.
When she decided to volunteer with CASA of Travis County, Radina was worried that her lack of experience working with children would be a hindrance to her. Instead, she found working with the children on her case to be exciting and that volunteering with CASA was not only a great way get more involved in her new city, but that it helped improve her English, as well.
Throughout her case, Radina drew on her experience working in immigration, finding that having worked with such a wide variety of people meant that she could approach this work without prejudice.
“My experience helped me,” she explains. “But in the last year and a half, I’ve learned a lot also.”
Volunteer Profiles October 2017