(1) The Safe Passage Project

Through the WOW Grant, I am able to continue my work with the Safe Passage Project this summer.  Safe Passage is a non-profit organization located in NYC that frames its mission around providing free immigration services to refugee and immigrant children. What makes Safe Passage so special is that they also work with a team of social workers and are attentive to research into the home countries of the youth migrants. I am currently completing this internship virtually, but will have the opportunity in July to begin working in person. I focus on starting special immigrant juvenile applications, reaching out to clients, interpreting, and translating. My daily work schedule usually consists of working closely with one supervisor. I appreciate this work environment because my supervisor is available any time during the day to ask questions about the projects I am working on. I also receive helpful feedback at the end of every day.

I am confident that this work environment will ensure that I leave Safe Passage with skills that I can apply to other work experiences, especially since I hope to continue working within immigration law. Beyond working with my supervisor, Safe Passage also holds weekly opportunities for interns to meet one another and other attorneys. Every week we are able to virtually have lunch with one another. Each attorney also holds a weekly meeting where they explain and hold an open Q&A session in regards to specific topics within immigration law. Since this internship consists of both law students and undergraduate college students, it has been most interesting to learn from the questions being proposed by law students. Many of them are in positions where they are practicing the law topics we learn about. From this, they can apply and share real-world cases they are working through. 

Developing meaningful relationships with attorneys and members of Safe Passage last summer has enabled me to deepen these connections now. Finding my voice and space within this work has also supported me in reaching out to other first-generation lawyers. Being a second-year intern also exposed the attorneys I get to work with to a greater understanding of who I am as an individual and intern. From this, they have shared fellowships, schools, and scholarships they relied on to support them throughout law school. 

This summer I made it a goal for myself to ask very honest and genuine questions about pursuing higher education. Safe Passage exposes me to many different lawyers with different motives regarding immigration law. During the first few weeks of my internships, I scheduled one on one meetings with questions on how attorneys, paralegals, and social workers navigate work life and their journey in higher education. I started at Safe Passage with a desire to work closely with Central American migrants. I am very grateful for this experience because I get to work with youth and passionate people within immigration law. I knew I had a strong passion and skills that could make me an effective team member. However, this summer with Safe Passage, I am able to embark on more leadership roles and explore the different paths in immigration law. I am excited to continue working with youth and supporting them. I am also excited to continue learning how to apply my skills and grow within this field.