Once a child who sat under the stars, marveling over the wonders of space, IIBA client Moises Bautista now dreams of working for NASA. A student at Cañada College, Moises excels in his Mechanical Engineering courses, but a question mark looms over his future, a question mark that IIBA is trying to help him erase.
IIBA Legal Intern Lauren Bier is no stranger to volunteer work. “When I turned twelve years old my parents announced, ‘You’re old enough to start working at the soup kitchen!’” Her early experiences taught Lauren to appreciate the many advantages she has in life, and to look for opportunities to give back to her community.
When Ana Maribel’s husband, a U.S. Citizen, convinced her to leave El Salvador and join him in Virginia, he made many promises. Enticed by the possibilities for herself and her teenage children, Ana Maribel left her teaching career behind, packed her bags, and landed in an abusive relationship that shredded her self-esteem and in a legal mess she could not untangle on her own.
As a high school student, IIBA client Ismael would listen to his classmates debating about immigration, holding a secret none of them knew. “Many of their assumptions were wrong, but I couldn’t correct them for fear of exposing myself.”
When you meet Xenia Martinez, a former IIBA client and current employee, it doesn’t take long to notice there’s something special about her--not just the warmth of her smile or her quick laughter, but her innate ability to inspire hope in people. “Everything is like a seed,” she says. “You just have to pour water on it to let it grow.”