BLOG | Magali Rocha
Ready, Get Set, GO!
July 2, 2019
“Si se puede”, is what my father always tells me. My parents never had the opportunity to attend college, much less high school. My parents also came to this country with nothing so that my siblings and I could have everything. My involvement in LSYWC not only gives me hope, but it also gives my family hope. The fact that I’m surrounded by people of my color, leaves my family at ease. My father’s greatest fear is that I forget about my culture and my roots, but this program reminds me that I should never think of myself less due to my race.
The moment I applied to LSYWC, I knew that it was the next step towards my dream. What I’ve come to realize is that it doesn’t matter where you start, just as long as you start somewhere. What I enjoy about meeting with my mentors is that I can talk to each of them about anything. They all bring different personalities, experiences, and traits to the table. They’re open and check up on me on a daily basis. The gratitude I have for my mentors, taking time off their busy schedules, is infinite.
It is only the beginning for me, I know that my mentors and this program will be guiding and by simply being a part of this program, I'm already ahead of others. I look at Judge Arguello and I hope to one day be as inspirational as she is. I may not be able to change the world, but that will not stop me from changing someone's world.
The Power of Advocacy
July 2, 2019
The most significant lesson my parents instilled in me, was the value in helping others and receiving help. In less than a month, I will be receiving an Associates of Arts in English. I will then be attending Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Fall to earn my Bachelor’s degree with Philosophy as a major. At the age of 5, I was already translating English for my Spanish-speaking parents; hence, I’ve had to advocate for myself from a relatively young age. As the first in my family to graduate high school, the first to step on a college campus, and the first to sit in a college classroom, I aim towards not being the last one in my family to do so.
Summer of 2018 completely changed my life. One reason is that my family and I decide to adopt my twelve-year-old cousin William. Not only am I excited to further pursue my career path, but I am eager to set up the path of education for him and my brother. The second reason is that I had the opportunity to intern alongside one of my mentors, John Silva, at the District Attorney’s Office of Denver. I had always known about the lack of Latino lawyers, but it wasn’t until I sat in during many court hearings that I realized how high the demand was. One of the highlights of this experience was meeting the first female to hold the office as District Attorney of Denver, Beth McCann. I also attended a meeting with the Immigration Denver District Attorney’s community advisory council, where I met numerous attorneys from different law firms, clinics, organizations, and networks. Undeniably, this internship opened doors for me and piqued my interest in immigration law.
After mentioning my interest of immigration law to my mentors, Mary McClatchey and her husband Steve introduced to one of their close friends, Dan Kowalski, who is rated one of the top immigration lawyers in the country. Over a delicious dinner and inspiring conversation, Dan offered me an internship at his law firm Ware Immigration this summer. Both Melissa Romero and Mary have been the best mentors one can have. They have taken the time out of their busy lives to advocate for me; from editing my cover letters and giving me suggestions about the future. They have shared their personal and professional experiences with me and that’s more than I could ever ask for. I have learned that there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
“Sí, Se Puede” is a phrase born of farmworkers, who, under the leadership of the UFW, César Chávez, and Dolores Huerta, fought valiantly for equal protection under the law. As a result of the efforts of the UFW, “Sí, Se Puede” has become well known as a call that engenders hope and inspiration in those who face similar battles. We thank the UFW, whom we acknowledge to be the sole and exclusive owner of the Trademark SI SE PUEDE, for granting us a limited license to use“Sí, Se Puede” in connection with our efforts to recruit, in Colorado, students of Hispanic or Latino descent for our law school pipeline program. For more information about the programs offered by the UFW, please see UFW’s webpage (www.ufw.org); UFW Foundation’s webpage (www.ufwfoundation.org); and UFWF’s immigration services webpage (www.sisepuede.org)