Our students are on the ground in Puerto Rico right now providing legal assistance and humanitarian aid. Their experience has been life-changing not just for them but hopefully for the people they have met. All donations collected that exceed our goal will be used to continue to provide basic living necessities for the people we have encountered on the island. In addition to providing solar lights to communities who are not expected to have power for many months our team has distributed basic things like water, soap, towels, and diapers. We are grateful for your continued support.
Check out our update stories ..... and meet the students below....
Our student attorneys their own words....
Why me? Why now?
"Over the course of my collegiate athletic career, I made ever-lasting friendships and connections with individuals hailing from Puerto Rico. Recently, my old college roommate reached out, reminding myself and our other alumni from our University, that his family, and the families of countless others, desperately requires the very things most of us take for granted on a daily basis." - David Yovanoff, 3L
As media fades, help needs to remain...
"I would like to help out in Puerto Rico because external help, especially as Hurricane Maria fades from the media spotlight, is essential to rebuilding Puerto Rico." Siedah Gibson-Laurencin, 2L
"I'm moved by the ways in which communities and even politics can work together to get people through the tough times. Disaster relief is one of the rare areas where I see social work, and social policy succeeding; or at least working more efficiently to fix the flaws in our systems." - Elizabeth David, 2L
Advocate and Ally
"As an attorney, I believe it will be my duty to advocate for those who lack the access I will be afforded. I desire to be an ally to The People of Puerto Rico and anyone else who has been injured or exploited." - Suzanne Starr, 2L
Not just business... it's personal
"The Puerto Rico post-hurricane relief clinic is going to provide much needed legal help to people that have suffered great physical, emotional, and economic loss. I am a native Spanish speaker and have family on the island that is still struggling to recover from the recent hurricanes. It took weeks for us to hear from the last few members of our family; thankfully, everyone survived and their property loss was not catastrophic.
Ayudar al que lo necesita no solo es parte del deber, sino de la felicidad." - Sarah Gardner, 2L
Recovery and long-term sustainability
In September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria entered Puerto Rico, causing devastation to the island. The people of Puerto Rico now face an uphill battle to return to normality. This clinic provides the opportunity to provide assistance to the people of Puerto Rico and to evidence the outgrowth of the island’s historic struggles caused by the passage of Hurricane Maria and the powers responsible for the recovery and long-term sustainability of the island and its resources. Being born in Puerto Rico, this clinic also has a personal significance, as my family and friends begin a long journey towards the island’s recovery. The School now provides this wonderful opportunity to return back home and provide assistance to my fellow countrymen. I hope to be a source of knowledge and insight into my country, its people, customs and traditions, as we attempt to make a difference during a time of great need. -Jonathan Reyes-Colon, 2L
Acknowledging the need
"The clinic brings together my desire to help people in great need, and my love of the island, its culture, and the language. Since the hurricane hit, I have watched our government largely ignore the plight of the Puerto Rican people, and treat them as though they are not citizens of our country. I relish this opportunity to react in a different way, to acknowledge the victims as worthy of any time, effort, and aid I can lend." Emma Molodetz, 2L
Putting skills to work
"I have experience in the areas of public health, environmental law, and economic development, and would be able to implement those skills to help the island of Puerto Rico." - Eamon Riley, Dual Degree
A form of relief...
"I want to participate in this disaster relief clinic because I want to help people. That is the reason why I decided to come to law school. I hope that this clinic will allow me to bring some form of relief to a population that is suffering." - Amanda Oppermann, 3L
Hope and help for the future
"I want to be able to volunteer in future disaster relief situations, and this Clinic would be the perfect introduction to the process." Heather Frank, 3L