By Katie Day • July 06, 2020
Please join us in congratulating our 2020 Public Interest Scholarship recipients! Ms. JD is thrilled to continue our support of women pursuing public interest careers and soften the burden faced by folks who accept public interest internships, which are often unpaid.
All three of our scholarship recipients were selected from a large pool of highly competitive applicants. Ms. JD appreciates the level of passion and personal conviction that was exhibited in the application pool, and we are thrilled to support these students in their pursuit of public interest careers.
"This scholarship will allow me to pursue a public interest internship in immigration legal services by offsetting some summer living expenses and costs for the upcoming academic year."
Astrid Diaz is a rising 2L at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Anthropology and American Studies and a minor in U.S. Latina/o Studies. This summer, Astrid is working as a legal intern at Ayuda, an organization in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area that assists low-income immigrants with family-based immigration applications, removal defense, asylum claims, and humanitarian applications. She is passionate about immigrant rights, racial justice, and legal advocacy through movement lawyering.
"To me, this scholarship is an indicator that I am on the right path. I stepped out on faith when choosing an unpaid internship with a government agency as I did not know how I would cover my living expenses. I will be using this scholarship to both cover some of my living expenses and pay for the MPRE."
JaKayla J. DaBera is a native Texan who is currently a rising 3L at Emory University School of Law. She graduated from Texas Lutheran University in 2018 with a B.A. in both Sociology and Political Science. This summer, JaKayla is working as a student legal intern with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in their Corporate Finance Division’s Office of Risk and Strategy in their Research & Analysis Group. JaKayla is passionate about advocating for social justice and helping her community develop financial literacy, wealth and independence. After graduation, she hopes to attain a clerkship with a bankruptcy judge.
"I am excited to be working with Houston Lawyer Referral Services. HLRS is a non-profit community service program that connects members of the Houston community with experienced lawyers who can assist with their legal issues. The Ms. JD Public Interest Scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial strain of taking opportunities in the public interest sector."
Chidimma Uwalaka is a rising second-year law student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Chidimma is a proud Nigerian-American from southwest Houston, Texas. Graduating from Villanova University with a major in English and a double minor in Africana Studies and Educational Policy & Leadership, Chidimma decided to become a teacher to affect change in an education system that has consistently failed students of color. Her experience as an educator ultimately fueled her desire to become an attorney. At TMSL, Chidimma continues to dedicate her time and energy to organizations that support diversity and inclusion. She is the Vice President of Women of Law, an organization that seeks to advance the efforts of women on campus, and Secretary of African Law Students Association. Chidimma also looks forward to helping usher in the new class of 1Ls as a Student Ambassador on her campus.