Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Chino Hills California, a suburb about 30 miles from Los Angeles, and went to school in Orange County.
What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
I have been working toward a career in international nonprofit work for some time and, as much as I love California, there is not much opportunity out there for that. So, I was looking to move to the East Coast for some time and I recently began an online grad program at Goucher College. I had several friends here who I served in the Peace Corps with, so it seemed like a good fit.
Where did you go to school and what was your major/focus?
I completed my undergrad at Cal State Fullerton in cultural anthropology in 2013 and I am now working toward my master’s degree in Cultural Sustainability at Goucher College, which I hope to finish in 2020.
What are your interests/hobbies?
I love music and movies, I’m a big history buff and generally interested in learning about cultures. I also love to travel and write and although I had to leave my shop in California, I love woodworking as well.
How did you connect with PBRC?
While I was looking for work on the East Coast, a good friend who I served with suggested I apply to Baltimore Corps, a fellowship program that helps young professionals begin careers in the nonprofit and government sectors that focus on social justice and equity, and after being accepted as a fellow I applied to work with PBRC for my placement.
What were you doing prior to working here?
After serving two years in the Peace Corps from 2014-2016, I came home and was hired by School on Wheels, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that provides free tutors and educational services to homeless students throughout southern California, as the training coordinator which meant organizing introductory and advanced trainings for volunteer tutors and training over 1,000 new volunteers each year.
What do you do at PBRC?
Here at PBRC, I am a coordinator for Project Household. Project Household is focused on helping Baltimore seniors age in place and protecting them from losing their homes and assets. We do this by providing free legal clinics to draft estate documents, help navigate utility bill issues, and prevent loss of their homes through tax sale. It is my job to identify partner sites throughout the city in which to host these clinics, conduct outreach to spread the message about clinics, and work directly with clients arranging their paperwork and appointments, as well as hosting them during the actual clinic to ensure their needs are met.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
So far my proudest professional accomplishment has been completing my Peace Corps service. I was extremely proud to be able to serve my own country as well as Malawi as a community health advisor and I was blessed to be able to work with such a wonderful community on projects that I was passionate about. My proudest non-professional accomplishment so far has been achieving straight A’s in my first semester of grad school, something I have never done in all my years of schooling.
What motivates you?
I am deeply motivated by the belief that we are all in this together and my brother’s pain is mine, therefore if I do nothing while he bleeds we both end up suffering. I believe in a fair shake and that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed and if I have received some undue privilege it is my duty to use that to create a more equitable world for everybody. A quote that has really been inspiring to me lately comes from the Talmud that says, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obliged to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”
What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?
I love working with people, and every time we do a estate planning clinic it means so much to me when seniors come up to check out after the volunteer attorney has drafted their documents and they tell me how wonderful this has been and just how relieved and happy they are to feel more secure about their future and their families.
What sets PBRC apart in your mind?
I think what sets PBRC apart is that it recognizes that legal aid should not be dependent on how much money a person has; it is a right to be properly represented. PBRC is able to bring a humanistic focus to the legal profession that connects attorneys to their communities, creating a pathway to equitable justice.
Tell us something random about yourself.
I have read the entire Harry Potter series 8 times all the way through.