Abigail Maristela

Abigail Maristela

Abigail Maristela

Paralegal, Battered Immigrant Project
Xavier University 2016
Major: Psychology and Sociology
Fun Fact: She’s been to five continents.


What makes you laugh?

Oh, the usual– Loca the Pug videos, my grandparents, and bathroom humor.


How would your friends or family describe you?

They would say I am wild at times and a bit of a prankster but balanced by a deep care for others; determined, contagiously passionate, brave, and loyal. Oh, and that I am always traveling.


What drew you to JVC?

Social justice is so integrated into the JVC lifestyle. I appreciate that, as a JV, I will be able to work for social justice at my placement and also live it out at home and everywhere in between. I’m grateful that JVC gives me the opportunity and support to live more intentionally and meaningfully. I am excited to grow, live simply, and in solidarity with my JV and Raleigh communities.


What social justice issue are you most passionate about and why?

EcoJustice. I spent the summer researching climate-based migration and the human effects of climate change in Kiribati, one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change (here’s a small plug, look it up!). It’s so unfair that a country that does not contribute to climate change faces the direct effects, while the polluters keep on polluting with insufficient reprimands. Environmental injustice directly affects food and water security, public health, migration, race relations, power relations, education, and consumerism. It is also something that unites all of humanity.


What was your most inspiring experience in college and how did it lead you to JVC?

I spent a life-changing semester studying in Cape Town, South Africa through Marquette University’s Service Learning program. In Cape Town, I discovered a passion for working with refugees and other displaced people. Living with 20 like-minded students fostered the social justice activist inside me, helped me be the best version of myself, and helped me do the best work for my clients. I am looking forward to having another supportive family through JVC while working with vulnerable communities.