Bronx resident awarded Ruth Bader Ginsburg scholarship – Bronx Times

Amanda Gómez Feliz immigrated to the Bronx in 2010 not understanding any English, however that didn’t deter her from marking her mark. Gomez Feliz at present attends Yale Legislation College and was not too long ago bestowed a prestigious scholarship.

On Sept. 13, The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project, a program established by alumnae of the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) in partnership with the Federal Bar Council and Federal Bar Basis, introduced its inaugural class of 4 ladies students. Gómez Feliz, together with three different ladies, will obtain a $10,000 monetary stipend, mentorship, networking and different profession assist alternatives.

In response to Gómez Feliz, she utilized for the When There Are 9 Scholarship due to her admiration for former U.S. Supreme Courtroom Affiliate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her want to carry extra ladies of coloration into the authorized discipline. Actually, Latinx ladies make up lower than 2% of all U.S. attorneys. And one of many targets of the scholarship is to extend variety inside the authorized occupation, and he or she hopes that sooner or later there shall be much more individuals within the discipline who appear like her.

Established in September 2020, the When There Are 9 Scholarship Undertaking honors the legacy of Ginsburg by furthering her dedication to increasing profession alternatives for ladies within the regulation and selling fairness and variety within the authorized occupation. Every of the 4 ladies was chosen primarily based on their tutorial achievement, dedication to serving their neighborhood and for perseverance within the face of adversity – all character traits embodied by the late justice.

“In the year since we launched the When There Are Nine Scholarship Project in honor of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we have been gratified by all the support we’ve received from so many of our fellow SDNY alumni and others,” stated Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, one of many founders of the When There Are 9 Scholarship Undertaking.

Gómez Feliz, 23, a local of the Dominican Republic, got here to the South Bronx on the age of 12 together with her mother, Glenis Feliz Suero and brother. Her mother, who was a lawyer, made the last word sacrifice when she moved to the U.S. As an alternative of going again to regulation faculty and looking for a required regulation diploma in America, she give up the sphere with a purpose to spend extra time together with her youngsters.

“To me as a little girl it was inspiring seeing her helping people,” Gómez Feliz stated about her mom. “My mom loved her job. I remember saying when I grow up I wanted to do what I love as well.”

Gómez Feliz attended College Prep Constitution Excessive College and never understanding English made life fairly difficult. As a freshman, courses have been so irritating that she usually got here residence eager to return to her native nation.

“It was hard for me because the high school I went to didn’t have bilingual classes,” she informed the Bronx Times. “I remember the first day of school I had global history and I didn’t understand a word they said.”

Nonetheless, Gómez Feliz didn’t get deterred. She taught herself English by watching YouTube and had nice academics who defined issues slowly to her. Moreover, residing in a big Latinx neighborhood, a lot of her buddies helped her be taught the language as nicely.

By her sophomore yr she slowly started to grasp English. She went on to graduate as her highschool’s salutatorian and acquired a full scholarship to the College of Rochester.

“It didn’t come easy to me,” she stated about her schooling. “I had to work twice as hard.”

Dreaming of changing into a lawyer since she began highschool, coupled together with her private experiences with the immigration system impressed Gómez Feliz to give attention to immigration regulation at Rochester.

After immigrating to the Bronx from the Dominican Republic, her household was victimized by a fraudulent “notary public” who claimed to be an immigration lawyer, certified to offer authorized help to her household. In Latin America, notary publics are certified attorneys, and because of this many immigrants are taken benefit of within the U.S. since notaries don’t have the identical {qualifications} right here.

Her household’s case was delayed 5 years on account of the fraud.

In the end, her household saved up sufficient cash for an immigration lawyer and Gómez Feliz grew to become a everlasting resident throughout her senior yr of highschool, gaining citizenship final yr throughout the pandemic. She graduated magna cum laude from the College of Rochester 2019, and labored on the NYC Division of Training after graduating.

Having began Yale Legislation College this semester, Gómez Feliz stated she wouldn’t commerce locations with anybody. She plans to observe immigration regulation within the Bronx, the place her objective is to assist immigrants navigate challenges just like these she was in a position to overcome.

“This is what I wanted to do for a long time,” she stated. “Obviously it feels good to make your dreams come true. As a woman interested in the law, it’s very easy to be inspired by Justice Ginsburg.”

Attain Jason Cohen at [email protected] or (718) 260-4598. For extra protection, observe us on Twitter @bronxtimes and Fb @bronxtimes. 

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