My name is Paulina. I am an aspiring law student and a DACA recipient. I was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that impacts my ability to do certain tasks. My family migrated to the U.S. when I was six years old in order to access the medical care that my condition demanded.
I am also a recipient of Immigrants Rising’s Pre-Law Fund, which has enabled me to not only apply for law school, but provided me with a clear roadmap towards a legal career.
As someone who is both disabled and undocumented, I’ve always wanted to become a lawyer in order to be my own voice and advocate for my own community. My hope is to work in estate planning, focusing on elders and people with disabilities.
Between my electric wheelchair breaking down earlier this year and the COVID-19 pandemic throwing everything out of alignment, I was worried I’d have to defer my law school plans for yet another year. But life has a funny way of getting you back on track: folks around me started forwarding me information about Immigrants Rising’s Pre-Law Fund. I took this as a sign—it was my chance to save my law school dream!
The Pre-Law Fund team not only helped me strengthen my application, but it reconnected me with the immigrant rights movement. My experience has shown me that there are people who want to build community, but it’s challenging to find opportunities to meet people where they’re at.