Meet An Amiga ~ Stephanie Blumenstock
2017-2019 ADJ Volunteer
Ms. Stephanie, or affectionately known as “Ms. Estef,” is in her second year volunteering at Amigos de Jesús. She has spent time as the Kindergarten teacher as well as helping with math tutoring, but her primary role has been serving as the medical coordinator.
All hours of the day you will hear “Ms Estef” being shouted across the Hogar as kids ask for Band-Aids or when they are going to the doctor next. Her organizational skills, a knack for learning foreign languages and her gentle and comforting spirit make her perfect for her role!
She loves spending time with the boys of Hogar San Oscar Romero whether it be helping cook Sunday lunch, going on expeditions to the river, or teaching the boys how to make bracelets.
Ms. Stephanie has a gift for being very present to those around her, and the kids love seeking her out to spend time together.
Read more about Ms. Stephanie in her interview below:
1. Age: 23
2. Hometown: Westford, MA
3. University: Boston College
4. Degree: Biochemistry
5. What is your role at Amigos?
I am currently the medical coordinator so that means I take kids to the doctor, pass out medicine daily, teach health classes at the school, maintain the kids’ medical records, and coordinate the annual medical brigade. Before taking on this role, I was the English preschool teacher and helped out in other classrooms at the school.
6. How did you first hear about Amigos de Jesús?
I went to a Jesuit university where a year of service post-graduation is very common and they hold a fair every fall that connects students with organizations like Amigos.
7. What were you doing before you came to Amigos?
I graduated college 2 weeks before coming to Amigos.
8. What made you decide to stay for a second year?
I wanted more time to develop my relationships with the people here and grow in my job responsibilities. A year just didn’t feel like enough time.
9. What is your favorite part of your job?
I love spending one on one time with kids I otherwise don’t interact with that much by helping them with health problems here at Amigos or taking them to the doctor.
10. How has the medical position shaped your time at Amigos?
I’m incredibly grateful for the job that I have because it has given me a reason to be around all of the children. I walk into their homes every morning passing out medicine and deal with whatever situation comes up whether it be a twisted ankle from playing soccer, an asthma flare-up, a broken collarbone, a cut forehead, or a broken pair of glasses. I get exposure to all different kids and have some very special relationships with certain children because medical happenstance puts us together.
11. Can you talk about the importance of being in Oscar Romero?
I eat with a group of 12 boys in Hogar San Oscar Romero most days and they are some of my favorite human beings. They are always full of energy and up for anything.
Some of our favorite things to do are walking to the nearby river to swim, taking walks to look for lemongrass to make tea, and listening to music.
It has been incredible having spent a year and a half getting to know them bit by bit, including the Padrinos and Madrinas that care for them.
I help the older boys with a lot of homework and play hot wheel cars with the little ones and blow up soccer balls for the middle-age kids.
My place in Oscar Romero makes me feel at home in Amigos and I appreciate every memory I get to make with them.