By Hollyn Randolph • August 23, 2016•Careers, Nonprofits and the Public Interest
Thank you to everyone who participated in Ms. JD’s 2016 Public Interest Scholarship search. This year we had an amazing turnout of essays. From stories of creating support programs to implementing legislation , your essays truly demonstrated how we can all support women in the law. Over the next few months we will share some of these stories on our blog. While it was difficult to choose our five (no, really, look how long it took us!), we are proud to announce our winners. Without further ado, here are our 2016 Public interest scholarship receipients…
Christine Mafnas hails from the island of Guam and is a rising 3L at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Ethnic Studies. Her academic and professional pursuits lie in combining a legal education with global relations, immigration, and politics. First and foremost, a community advocate, Christine's past legal internships were positions as a law clerk with Oakland's East Bay Municipal Utility District's Office of the General Counsel and legal intern with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant in Berkeley. When she is not wearing her law student hat, she can be found reading books from the public library and playing with her two cats, Lulu and Sombra.
"Natasha is a rising 3L at UC Berkeley, born and raised in the Bay Area, and aspiring to build her career there. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Art History, and spent a semester studying abroad in Paris. This summer she worked in the Division of Enforcement of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in San Francisco. She will be working as an intern on the Government Team of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office during the Fall 2016 semester."
Stephanie Robayo is a third year law student at Brooklyn Law School in New York, with an interest in pursuing a career in public service law and policy. As a first generation Latino-American daughter of immigrants, she aspires to be a lawyer because she recognizes the importance of advocacy for the disenfranchised. Growing up, she was often relied upon to advocate for her family and her community. During her undergraduate studies at the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace University, she pursued public service activities and goals that advanced community development and advocacy. Stephanie is enthusiastic about influencing progressive changes for diverse groups with her legal education, and promoting inclusion in the law profession with the aim of strengthening community relations. This summer, she is the legal intern for NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Joint Task Force on Employee Misclassification and Worker Exploitation, a state initiative that protects vulnerable workers.
Megan Harmon is a rising third year law student in the joint JD-Masters in International Affairs program at Marquette University Law School in her hometown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning her Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy. Prior to entering law school, Megan spent a year abroad studying human rights at the University of Buenos Aires while also interning and volunteering throughout South America. After her time abroad, encountering injustices that largely impacted women, Megan decided to apply to law school to become an advocate for women’s rights in an international context. She will spend this summer working with a legal project in Western Nicaragua, assisting workers and their families sick with Chronic Kidney Disease of non-Traditional causes (an occupational illness) obtain their pensions they are illegally denied.
Vanessa in the middle with her two future Ms. JDers
Vanessa Hemenway is a rising 3L at CUNY School of Law in Queens, New York. She is committed to public interest family law. This is her second career, having received a Masters of Science in Education from Bank Street College and teaching in the New York City public schools. This summer she interned with the Honorable Judge Emily Ruben at the Queens Family Court in Child Protective Proceedings, which added to her determination to work for social justice.