OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

Q: Where Can You Find a Ballet Dancer and Martial Arts Enthusiast?

A: On the Justice Bus, of course!

A Huge Welcome to Our DreamSF Fellows!

Jesus and Talissa

Talissa and Jesus on the Justice Bus with a team of volunteers

We are so honored to have been selected as the host organization for two amazing and talented DreamSF Fellows.

The DreamSF Fellowship is an opportunity for DACA-approved youth to serve San Francisco’s immigrant communities while gaining valuable professional experience and training. DreamSF Fellows commit to working 20 hours per week on a project-based fellowship with an immigrant-serving nonprofit organization (like OneJustice), and receive a stipend, leadership training, mentorship, and training in technology, public policy, civic participation, and nonprofit administration.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our very own DreamSF Fellows, Talissa Carrasco and Jesus Castro.

We’re pretty nosy here, so we forced them to sit down and answer a series of questions.  Now, we can all get to know them a little better!

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Talissa, tell us what drew you to the work of OneJustice?

I was interested in OneJustice’s unique role in supporting a large network of legal nonprofits to create mutual benefits for both nonprofit legal organizations and Californians who need legal help. It is fascinating to see the collaborative efforts of many stakeholders in bringing positive social change.

And what are your primary responsibilities at OneJustice – and what do you hope to achieve?

Currently, I am helping the OneJustice team with outreach for Justice Bus trips and other Rural Justice Clinics. We (Jesus and I) are also working on creating a comprehensive outreach database that will serve as an access tool for the OneJustice team where they can search by county, name of the organization or name of a personal contact.

I really enjoy outreach, because it allows me to engage with different organizations in the counties OneJustice will be serving. It helps spread the word about the free legal clinics we offer, and I always talk to folks who are so thankful for the services and clinics OneJustice offers.

What did you do before coming to OneJustice?

Talissa

Talissa working  out of OneJustice’s SF office

This is actually my first time working at a nonprofit organization and I absolutely love it. Most of my professional experience has been in the restaurant industry, which has helped me pay for my college tuition. What made me want to fight for social justice started from my work at City College of San Francisco where I became very involved with the undocumented student club called SAFE (Students Advocating for Equity).

Through SAFE, I found a new family – made of a group of students who came to US very young with dreams of finding a better life. We created a “safe” haven for students like us who were afraid to speak about their status. We have gone to marches to stop deportations of immigrants, held fundraisers for our resource center, and even held workshops for undocumented immigrants about knowing their rights if ever approached or stopped by ICE.

And tell us something quirky about you!

I used to be a ballet dancer from the age of 5 until about 16. I stopped dancing, because the cost became too expensive for my family. But every year, I go watch the San Francisco Ballet perform “The Nutcracker” in December.

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And Jesus, could you tell us why you chose to do your Fellowship at OneJustice?

Jesus at this year’s Opening Doors to Justice event

Being part of the DreamSF Fellows program is truly an honor. The DreamSF program gave me the opportunity to put my professional skills, interpersonal skills, and most importantly, my work permit to use. I now see the benefits of being a DACA recipient. When I first walked in the OneJustice Office, the first thing that caught my attention was the energy that Mike Winn, the Senior Staff Attorney, brought to the table.  This was the first plus. Later, Renee Schomp (Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow) began talking about all the Justice Bus trips that we would be participating in to help bridge the gap for the rural areas that can’t access legal services. That was when I made up my mind and knew I wanted to be part of the OneJustice team.

Tell us a little more about your work at OneJustice and your big picture goals for your time in the Fellowship. 

My work at OneJustice has mainly been focused on outreach for Justice Bus trips as well as my actual participation at the Justice Bus mobile legal clinics. I do have to say that the best part about the Justice Bus trips is seeing the faces of the clients that we have helped. The clients always leave very thankful and with a smile on their faces.

What did you do before coming to OneJustice?

Before being a part of the OneJustice team, I was part of the San Francisco OCEIA (The Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs) team. The experience that I got from OCEIA definitely helped me with the work that I do at OneJustice. The work varies from having to work on an excel spreadsheet or a Google form, to then getting the chance to work one-on-one with a client in order to ensure they get the help that they need.

And what else should the OneJustice network know about you?

Something that most people don’t know is that I practice Mixed Martial Arts. It gives me a rush and keeps me active.

Thank you so much, DreamSF Fellows  – and a very warm welcome to the OneJustice team!

 

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