This summer, we enjoyed working with Communications Intern Yolotzin (Yolo) Mendez Benitez, a student at Cardinal Stritch University. Yolo recently completed a six-week internship with Dismas Ministry and was a tremendous asset to our team. This is just one example of our collaborative relationship with students, staff and faculty of the University as we continue to build our presence on campus. (Dismas Ministry moved its home offices to the Cardinal Stritch University Campus in 2019.)

We invite you to learn more about Yolo, and her internship experience, from her point of view: 

“I’m a Senior at Cardinal Stritch, majoring in Political Science and Spanish Translation and Interpretation. When I first chose my Political Science Major, I wanted to be able to have a better understanding of the legal system without bias as I worked at a Youth Shelter and it made me feel like the legal system was broken and it needed fixing. As of right now, I am undecided as to what I want with my future and I’m exploring my options. I do want to do more work that analyzes policies and the legal system. From the translations I have done for “the forgotten work of mercy” my feelings on how the justice system is broken have been reinforced. It seems like it is built to put those at a disadvantage at a bigger disadvantage, letting those with higher resources loose.

Working at Dismas Ministry has been a unique experience for me. It has shown me that regardless of anyone’s past, Dismas is willing to offer Catholic support for those who are looking for it. It has helped me grow as a person by allowing me to care about others without judgment. On a professional level, I feel like I have gained more confidence in how to conduct my own research and be more confident in my work as my mentors at Dismas offered great support and feedback. They also pushed me to “think outside the box” and encouraged me to follow through with my ideas.

Yolo Mendez Benitez, Cardinal Stritch University Student

I would encourage other Stritch students to consider working with Dismas. It is a great opportunity because they are flexible with your schedule, and they are located at Stritch which makes it even easier to squeeze in extra hours, if needed, without having to leave campus.”

Thanks to Yolo for sharing her talents with Dismas Ministry, and supporting those we serve – women and men behind bars. And, we send our best wishes to Yolo as she begins her final year at the University and embarks on a new chapter after graduation.