Maura has been a long-time advocate for refugee rights, ever since she began volunteering at a local Hispanic center in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. After seeing the injustices faced by many clients there, Maura became determined to alleviate the pressing needs of those with limited resources, which she hopes to accomplish as a student attorney in the IHRC.
As an undergrad at New York University, Maura studied abroad in Buenos Aires, where she interned at Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) which promotes the rights of children with disabilities and migrant children living in slums. For her senior thesis, she wrote about the educational and legal challenges that unaccompanied Latinx minors face in the U.S., receiving grants to travel to Guatemala, a children’s shelter in Brownsville, Texas, and a high school in Los Angeles known as a refuge for migrant children. While writing her thesis, she volunteered at the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic interpreting for Spanish-speakers facing deportation, as well as other organizations providing free legal services to migrant and refugee children. After graduating from NYU, Maura volunteered at Community Justice Project, a non-profit law firm providing immigration services, and spent six months volunteering in Mexico City at Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI), giving presentations to migrants about U.S. asylum requirements, conducting intake interviews of unaccompanied minors, and coordinating information sessions with local migrant shelters.
Since coming to USC Gould, Maura has been involved with the International Refugee Assistant Project (IRAP), and the Public Interest Law Foundation. Maura spent her 1L summer as a legal intern at the Legal Aid Society.
“I am interested in participating in IHRC because I want to learn more about empowering vulnerable communities through direct representation and systematic change.”