Meet Our 2014 Fall Interns

Posted on 09/29/2014 @ 12:02 PM

Get to know Catherine Barreda

Where are you originally from and where do u live now?
Born in South Texas, raised in Austin, TX, and currently live in Brooklyn, NY.

What law school do you attend?
New York Law School

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I wanted to intern at LJP to learn how impact litigation cases are done, especially cases that I find extremely interesting and important (immigrants' rights, voting rights, and police misconduct).

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
Growing up in Texas, I witnessed the rights of several groups compromised on a daily basis. In South Texas, I witnessed adults and children desperately fighting for a chance to make it across the border. During my time as a Youth Advocate in Austin, working with teens struggling with chemical dependency issues, I was continually reminded of how juveniles are often overlooked and unheard. These experiences, coupled with my eagerness to learn, led me to pursue a legal education so that I may better advocate for the recognition and expansion of rights for all.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Careful! We might request you make it for us!)
My cooking habits tend to be seasonal - in the summertime, I enjoy making homemade pickles (watermelon is a favorite), different kinds of salads, and homemade dressings. In the fall, I enjoy making soups and experimenting with various root vegetable/mashed potato combos. And in the winter, I want to bake all weekend, every weekend.

What is a hidden talent?
Knitting - I love to sit and knit gifts for friends/family.

What is your motto or philosophy?
Don't give up before the miracle happens.

Favorite sport or team?
University of Texas Longhorns


Get to know Alex Cárdenas

Where are you originally from and where do you live now?
Originally from Los Angeles, CA and now living in Long Island City.

What law school do you attend?
Fordham University School of Law

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I wanted hands-on experience with litigation and also wanted to work with an organization that has the Latino community first and foremost in their work efforts.

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
I would like to be a lawyer so that I can continue to advocate for the Latino and Immigrant communities.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Careful! We might request you make it for us!)
Carne asada with a fresh salsa and guacamole.

What is a hidden talent?
I am very good with languages. I speak three fluently and also know several phrases in a few other languages.

What is your motto or philosophy?
This is only a moment in time.

Favorite sport or team?
The Mexican National Soccer Team.


Get to know Ginna Barrios Aguero

Where are you originally from and where do u live now?
Paraguay and Brazil. I currently live in Astoria, Queens.

What law school do you attend?
Brooklyn Law School.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I wanted to Intern at LJP because I am extremely passionate about immigration law and social justice. Immigration is an area of law that directly impacts my life, my family, and my community in general. I am particularly interested in the DREAM Act movement, and hope to not only witness a positive forthcoming change in this movement, but to also be a part of it. I know that an externship experience at Latino Justice will provide me with the analytical and practical skills that are necessary for me to be able to eventually develop strategies necessary for challenging discriminatory laws, and in this manner, be able to one day provide my community with quality representation in litigating on a high-impact level.

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
I want to become a lawyer because I believe in fairness and human equality. Law affects every aspect of our lives, which has motivated me to learn more about the interpretation of the law. Becoming a lawyer is the most practical and effective way in which I can effectively advocate for the under-represented, and the changes that I want to see in my community.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Careful! We might request you make it for us!) 
Does pasta count?

What is a hidden talent?
Dancing salsa.

What is your motto or philosophy?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Favorite sport or team?
My favorite sport is soccer, and my favorite team is the Brazilian national soccer team.


Get to know Kelsey Carol Burke

Where are you originally from and where do u live now?
I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, raised in Palm Beach County, Florida since I was 10 years old. I moved to Orlando two years ago to attend Law School.

What law school do you attend?
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical College of Law

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I learned about LJP through Franco Torres, a former LJP intern who who referred me to LJP. I believe and appreciate LJP’s mission to protect opportunities for all Latinos to succeed and LJP’s assistance to DREAMers, like Caesar Vargas and myself, to be admitted to practice law and to fulfill our dreams.

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
I have seen and experienced what a broken system, particularly a broken immigration system, does to our families, communities, and the individual hardships we must endure in pursuit of the American Dream. I want to become a lawyer because I believe in higher education, I believe in using that education to assist my family and community. I hope that by becoming a lawyer I can make a positive difference in changing our broken immigration system.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Careful! We might request you make it for us!) 
Ceviche

What is a hidden talent?
I don’t believe I have one. I enjoy writing.

What is your motto or philosophy?
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

Favorite sport or team?
Futbol/Brazil


Get to know Julisa A. Medina

Where are you originally from and where do u live now?
Born in Brooklyn, raised in Allentown Pennsylvania, currently living in Maspeth, Queens.

What law school do you attend?
Pace Law School

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I met Jose at the NYU Public Interest Fair my 1L year. After speaking with him that day, I became very interested in the work LJP does. After this meeting I knew I wanted to be apart of an organization that was passionate about working for the Latino/a community and make lasting changes for our communities nationwide.

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
Since I was a little girl I've always wanted to fight for those who could not fight for themselves. You can ask my younger cousins.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Careful! We might request you make it for us!) 
Arroz con gandules and homemade macaroni and cheese

What is a hidden talent?
Before law school, I was the National Step Director for my sorority, Mu Sigma Upsilon, Sorority, Inc.

What is your motto or philosophy?
All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed. I get this from Luke 17:6 "And the Lord said, if you had faith as a grain of mustard seed you could say unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root, and be planted in the sea; and it would obey you."

Favorite sport or team?
I dont really have a favorite sport but my favorite teams are the Yankees and the Knicks


Get to know Peter Garcia

Where are you originally from and where do u live now?
I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and I currently live in Clifton, NJ

What law school do you attend?
Pace University School of Law

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
I want to learn how to be a great trial attorney, about big-impact civil rights matters, and, most importantly, how I can make a positive, meaningful impact in my community. I chose to intern at LatinoJustice because I can achieve all three of these goals at one place.

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
I never thought about becoming a lawyer, especially since I was not surrounded by any lawyers growing up. I decided to pursue law after a few years of experience in Compliance. I believed a law degree was the next logically step to advance in the securities regulation field. Now that I am in law school, I realized, with my law degree, I can change the world. So the reason I want to become a lawyer is to not only provide financially for my family, but to also make a long lasting difference in my community.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Careful! We might request you make it for us!) 
While I can eat pretty much anything (except for fish, unless it is fried or sushi), I love pasta! I can make a delicious burger, though.

What is a hidden talent?
I don’t know if this is much of a talent, but I am a pretty good wrestler. (I used to be on the wrestling team when I was younger.)

What is your motto or philosophy?
Never give up on things that matter most to you.

Favorite sport or team?

I don’t have a favorite sports team, but I am a fan of Apple.


Get to know Natalie Varela

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY.

What law school do you attend?
CUNY School of Law

Why do you want to become a lawyer?
I believe in justice and equity for all. I thought becoming a lawyer would give me the tools to ensure these goals by teaching me how to use the law to empower low-income communities and minorities.

Why did you want to intern at LJP?
LatinoJustice PRLDEF has been at the forefront of civil rights issues affecting Latino communities, ranging from immigration reform, voting rights, and employment law, I wanted the opportunity to work on these issues to inform future policy.

What is your favorite food to eat/make? (Caraeful, we might request you make it for us!)
- Favorite food to eat in general is breakfast sandwich egg and cheese on a gutted and toasted everything bagel. - Favorite food to make is a smoothie.

What is a hidden talent?
I am not sure if this is a talent, but I like extreme activities like skydiving.

What is your motto or philosophy?
Respect one another and empathize.

What is your favorite sport or team?
My favorite sport is basketball. I am a Knicks fan, but since I do not often get to root for them in the post-season I am usually rooting for OKC.

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