SHS Alumni Takes on Internship


Grace Iang

Rafael Galindo helps newcomer students in Mrs. Manning class.

 Rafael Galindo is a former student at SHS and is currently a sophomore at Ivy Tech. He has returned as an intern here at SHS, helping newcomer students understand more English and guiding them through  school as others did for him when he was a student. He will soon be transferring to IUPUI to pursue a career in social work.   

        Galindo came to the United States from Mexico when he was nine years old. He attended an elementary school in where he was the only Latino student. He barely knew English, but he got a lot of help from teachers and other students while growing up.  Now he has returned to SHS to help Spanish-speaking students.

“There are a lot of students who don’t understand English. It kind of reminds me of my childhood because when I was in school, I was the only Hispanic student so I know how difficult it is to go to a school when you don’t know the language so I try my best to help,” Galindo said.

       Students who are learning English face many challenges, not only with their academics, but also when it comes to communicating with teachers, administrators, and other students.  When problems arise, they often have not acquired the basic vocabulary needed to express themselves in a variety of situations.  For example, some students were marked absent from class when they were actually present so they were referred to the dean so Galindo intervened to resolve the discipline issues. It upset Galindo when his students were  accused of cutting class when in reality, they just couldn’t understand some of their teachers when they said they were taking attendance. As a result, they did not respond when their names were called.

“It was not that they were skipping, it was that they didn’t understand some of their teachers so they weren’t able to go tell their teacher that they were present. Communicating in English is the biggest barrier for them,” Galindo said.

Galindo’s primary reason for wanting to pursue social working as his career is that after all the help he received growing up, he wants to give back to the community.  In addition, he enjoys helping others.

Until Oct. 20, Galindo spent four days per week at SHS to fulfill his first internship requirement for college. While being in SHS, Galindo worked with new comer teacher Mrs. Marsha Manning in the newcomers’ class in the morning. According to Manning, Galindo was very helpful to the four Hispanic newcomer students he helped in her class.


“They would have been lost without him”  Manning said.

Manning says the fact that Galindo is bilingual turn out really helpful, and it would benefit many students if more social workers were bilingual because we have such a diverse community.

Galindo has also worked with two students in Mrs. Ancelet’s class. He was able to help them with the content as well as interpret for them as their English language skills are limited.  

“Their English is very limited so he has to translate a lot, which is helpful,” Ancelet said.

According to Ancelet, she had one Hispanic student in her English Learning class who  probably felt left out, but Galindo helped him and connected with him. Because of their similar struggles, Galindo was able to assist the student.

More students at SHS will have the advantage of working with Galindo this year. He is now back until the end of the semester to work with students, the guidance department and social worker for a second internship. Although some people may not appreciate the need to learn another language, others use their bilingual or multilingual skills to make a difference in the community. Galindo is making an impact on the Spanish-speaking students at SHS.