Maria Rodriguez always wanted to be a lawyer. At St. John’s University, she majored in sociology. She also learned about St. Vincent de Paul’s dedication to serving others and decided to use her legal knowledge to help those in need.
“St. John’s mission of serving others inspired me to pursue a career in public interest law,” she said. Ms. Rodriguez set her sights on one of the most marginalized segments of the population—immigrant children. After earning her J.D. at the University of Connecticut, she accepted a Legal Fellow position with The Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship Program, where she works with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).
Her job entails interviewing children, attending immigration or state court proceedings, preparing immigration applications, and mentoring pro-bono attorneys. “Ultimately,” she noted, “my job is to advocate for children—a population that is often completely silent.”
This short but powerful reflection comes to us from St. John’s University.