Jimena de los Santos Reyes was 7 months old when her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico. On this Saturday morning, she was volunteering at the COVID-19 community vaccine clinic at Creighton’s Rasmussen Center for the second time.
“I think this is a very historic moment,” de los Santos Reyes said. “I remember my first time here, and people were so happy because for many of them it was the first time in a long time that they had left their house. I was just like, ‘Wow!’ I was shocked.”
De los Santos Reyes is a senior at Creighton, majoring in biology with a minor in medical anthropology. She said her volunteer work at the clinic has reinforced and expanded her classroom experience.
“I’m in immunology right now, so I get to learn about the biology side of the vaccine – how it works,” she said. “With the clinic, I get to see, in person, how it is delivered and the teamwork that it takes to vaccinate a community.
De los Santos Reyes, who grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, plans to graduate in December and then attend medical school. She said she is appreciative of how accepting Creighton has been with her status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“As a DACA student, Creighton has been so welcoming,” she said. “People have been very open to hearing my story. I just really appreciated that.”
And now, at the clinic, she is giving back – to her school and her community.