Bilingual CCHD intern teaches English to immigrants


By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

For the first time, the Diocese of Davenport’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has an intern based in Iowa City.
Daniela Bularzik, a social work student at the University of Iowa, has been making an impact as a CCHD intern through her work with the Center for Worker Justice (CWJ) of Eastern Iowa. In addition to supporting the Iowa City organization’s endeavors, Daniela, who is bilingual, has been teaching English to Spanish-speaking immigrants at CWJ.

Lindsay Steele
Daniela Bularzik, the 2017-18 Diocese of Davenport Catholic Campaign for Human Development intern, poses in the Diocese of Davenport’s Social Action office at the St. Vincent Center-Davenport.

It was Daniela’s idea to teach English, noted Loxi Hopkins, director of the diocesan CCHD program. She admires how Daniela recognizes community needs and finds ways to use her skills to offer support.

The diocese offers one paid internship per school year to an individual who works with either Quad Cities Interfaith in Davenport or the Center for Worker Justice in Iowa City. Interns are required to take a training course in Washington, D.C., over the summer leading into the internship. Hopkins noted that the majority of internship applicants each year are from the Davenport area or attend school at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. She has worked with the Newman Catholic Student Center at the University of Iowa to build awareness of the internship program.


Daniela learned about the internship through the Newman Center. “It seemed like a perfect way to tie in my passion for social justice with my Catholic faith and Catholic social teaching.” During the interview process, Hopkins was immediately confident about Daniela’s potential.

Daniela is the daughter of a Bolivian immigrant mother; her parents met in Bolivia when her American-born father was doing missionary work there. Daniela was exposed to both English and Spanish at home. Hopkins said Daniela recognizes that Hispanic immigrants are better able to speak up for themselves and others if they have a command of the English language. Daniela admits that she’d like to be more confident in her Spanish abilities. Growing up, she listened to her mother speak in Spanish but Daniela replied in English. They understood each other, but preferred to speak in the language in which they were most comfortable. Teaching English to Spanish speakers has given Daniela an excuse to brush up on her Spanish grammar.

Daniela’s other responsibilities at CWJ include clerical work with the Immigration Group, document translation and making phone calls, said Rafael Morataya, CWJ’s executive director.

Daniela describes her experiences working with CWJ’s immigration team “eye-opening.” CWJ works extensively with undocumented immigrants in the area, and has assisted individuals affected by recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids “as close to us as Des Moines and Cedar Rapids,” she said. “I was in a campus bubble of middle-class America. Being part of the CWJ community has let me see there is a need in our own backyard.”

It’s tough to see people struggle, but she’s also encouraged to see how much people want to help. “It’s nice to see people come together to support other people, as humans, without judging them.”

The Bolingbrook, Ill., native says of her internship, “It’s been a really cool experience.”

Apply for CCHD internship

Applications are being accepted for the 2018-19 Internship for Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Catholics with an interest in building solidarity, participation of the poor, and Catholic Social Teaching are eligible to apply. Spanish-speaking preferred but not necessary.

The intern will work with one of two local CCHD funded groups: Quad Cities Interfaith-Davenport or Center for Worker Justice-Iowa City.

The internship is 16-20 flexible hours per week for 24 weeks during the school year, paid at $12/hour.

Interns must attend the May 30 to June 1, 2018 National CCHD Training (expenses paid). Deadline to apply is Jan. 31, 2018. For more information go to or contact Loxi Hopkins, (563) 888-4212 or hopkins@

Support The Catholic Messenger’s mission to inform, educate and inspire the faithful of the Diocese of Davenport – and beyond! Subscribe to the print and/or e-edition, or make a one-time donation, today!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Posted on