I am currently an attorney with HIAS Pennsylvania where I represent unaccompanied Central American children fleeing unimaginable violence in their home countries. I landed on this career path largely because of JVC. It was through my time as a JV at the St. Frances Cabrini Center in Houston that I first witnessed the injustices of our broken immigration system and how lawyers could be warriors for social justice.
My JV house patron, Rutilio Grande, SJ, famously said, “The Gospel has to grow little feet.” I learned from JVC that spirituality and social justice go hand in hand: I see my work not simply as a job, but rather as my faith in action.
And as current events make the fight for immigrant justice an uphill battle, it’s this faith-centered approach to my work that sustains me. While winning a case is amazing, I measure my professional success on my ability to show compassion, treat clients with dignity, and empower clients to share their stories. My goal as an advocate is to make my clients feel human and not like just a statistic. Regardless of the legal outcome, I feel my day has been a success when a child leaves my office knowing that their story matters and that they are not alone in this fight.