Until recently, I had no reason to hope or plan for my future. I came to the U.S. as an infant with my mother, who was fleeing a violent relationship. When I was five, I experienced abuse at the hands of someone I knew. We got law enforcement involved, but he fled before he could be arrested. I became increasingly anxious and depressed. In high school, I began looking for ways to become a legal resident which led me to Pro Bono Network and the U Visa process.
Recounting my experiences as a child for the legal filings was difficult, but I had people like my pro bono attorney, Patti, advocating for me and I kept going. What surprised me most was the ripple effect of representation on everyone around me. After my mother and I received U Visas and became legal residents, we saw family in Mexico for the first time in 20 years, including my grandfather who passed from COVID in January 2021. I was able to go to college, start a career and give back to my community. Connecting with extended family, learning critical life skills, building a life for myself, and making long-term goals would not have been possible without the care and consideration shown by PBN.
I hope my story can encourage support, volunteerism, or give hope to others. I know if it wasn’t for PBN I would not be where I am or who I am today.
Pro Bono Network