What is your background, where did you come from?
I grew up in Carlsbad, California, but both of my parents are from Central America. My mom is from Honduras and my dad is from Nicaragua. Through my internship at Esperanza I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of clients from Honduras. It’s really interesting for me to hear their stories because I can normally recognize the towns where they are from. My parent’s had a difficult experience coming to the United States, just like any immigrant's journey. I don’t want to say they had it easy, but it was probably easier for them than for a lot of other immigrants just because my dad’s family was able to help them come to the United States. Their story is one that I like to share with people because it’s really inspiring to me how hard they worked to be successful in the United States. I know that so many of the people who come here simply don’t have the means to provide for themselves and their families. My parents’ story makes me to want to help other people that might not have the same resources that they had.
What did you enjoy most about your internship at Esperanza?
I really enjoy Esperanza’s LOPC internship a lot. It has taught me so much about the law regarding unaccompanied minors, and it’s also a very rewarding experience to be able to do intakes and client interviews. Every client that I talk to, my heart goes out to them. Learning more about our clients’ stories puts a lot of things into perspective for me. My problems of studying for law school or applying to internships are nothing compared to what these children have to go through. Immigrants have to struggle through so much just to be able to make a simple life here. Actually having personal and direct contact with the Los Angeles immigrant community has helped see my own life from a new perspective.
What was the most rewarding part of working with Esperanza?
The most rewarding part of my job is helping people feel prepared for their first hearing. Even if I can’t be their attorney or find an attorney for them at Esperanza, I know that I’ve been able to give them vital information. I know that they have more insight about their case than they did before. My internship experience at Esperanza has made me realize that I want to pursue immigration law. I’ve always wanted to make sure that I become an attorney that actually helps people, especially underserved communities. Even if I don’t end up working for a non-profit, as an immigration attorney I would still be helping someone. Overall, I know it would be a career path that I would feel fulfilled in.