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2014 FirstGEN Fellows Summer Class

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2014

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Lawyers’ Committee, and National Immigration Law Center Announce 2014 FirstGEN Fellows Summer Class

WASHINGTONThe Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), and the Washington, D.C., office of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) are excited to announce the 2014 FirstGEN Fellows summer class: Karla M. Davis, who attends MidAmerica Nazarene University (2014); Genesis Garfio, who attends Columbia University (2017); Nirvana Felix, who attends the University of California, Berkeley (2017); and Juan Rangel, who attends the University of Notre Dame (2015). We congratulate the 2014 FirstGEN Fellows cohort.

FirstGen Fellows logoFirstGEN Fellows is a 10-week summer program for undergraduate students interested in social justice careers who are the first in their immediate families to attend an institution of higher education. Fellows gain hands-on experience working on civil rights matters as full-time policy and advocacy interns in Washington, D.C., while also participating in a parallel training program. FirstGEN Fellows creates a greater community of advocates by linking emerging leaders with existing ones and creating a FirstGEN Fellows alumni network. Each fellow receives a $1,000 stipend.

Karla DavisKarla Davis attends MidAmerica Nazarene University in the Kansas City metro area. While studying corporate communications, marketing, and graphic design, she discovered a passion for social justice issues. As a nontraditional and minority student, Davis recognizes the need to advocate for marginalized groups and hopes to dedicate both her personal and professional life to such causes. Davis is actively involved in her community and has served in a variety of capacities -- as a youth member of the National League of Cities, an intern at the Olathe Latino Coalition, as well as the president of her university's Student Diversity Council, whose purpose is to empower students to stand up against the injustices of today. Davis will be placed with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., thanks to the generous donation in memory of Claire Robinson.

Nirvana FelixNirvana Felix attends the University of California, Berkeley, as a social welfare major with intended minors in public policy and education. She is currently part of an organization on campus called Inside the Living Room, which assists immigrants and refugees in completing political/LGBTQ/domestic violence asylum. Felix is passionate about empowering and educating people of color, especially Pilipin@s, in their endeavors to maneuver their way towards higher education and beyond. She currently interns for the bridges Multicultural Resource Center and has assisted in the planning and implementation of the Graduate School Tour, a weeklong trip during which undergraduate students are given the opportunity to tour various East Coast graduate schools. Felix hopes to one day work for a nonprofit organization focused on education reform. She was born and raised in San Jose, California, and will be placed with the Lawyers’ Committee.

Genesis GarfioGenesis Garfio is a DREAMer who attends Columbia University. She is studying political science and economics in the prelaw track. Garfio is a member of Chicano Caucus, an organization dedicated to provide members of the Columbia University student body who self-identify as Chican@, Mexican, or Mexican-American, with an environment that will help them to fulfill their educational goals and to promote cultural consciousness. She is also a member of the Columbia Democrats. Garfio is heavily involved with the LGBTQ community on campus and serves as an SAT/college prep tutor for students in Harlem. She considers Houston, Texas her home, but is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. She will be placed with the Washington, D.C., office of the National Immigration Law Center.

Juan RangelJuan Rangel studies at the University of Notre Dame and is majoring in political science and Latino studies. He has been involved with student government throughout all three years at Notre Dame, and this year he served as the student body chief of staff, which included chairing the Immigration Task Force. Rangel also founded and serves as the president of the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, which works to educate students about immigration issues and advocate at the local, state, and national levels. He interned last summer with the Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education at the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is originally from Mexico but calls Central California home. Rangel will be placed with the Washington, D.C., office of the National Immigration Law Center.

CLINIC, the Lawyers’ Committee, and NILC welcome the second class of FirstGEN Fellows and our first joint cohort.

You may learn more about FirstGEN Fellows by going to facebook.com/FirstGENFellows and following @FirstGENFellows on Twitter and Instagram.

About the National Immigration Law Center

Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center envisions a society in which all people -- regardless of race, gender, income level, or immigration status -- have the opportunity to live freely, work safely, and thrive in society. The organization’s advocates and attorneys use a variety of tools, including policy analysis, litigation, education and advocacy, to achieve this vision. For more information about the National Immigration Law Center, visit www.nilc.org, and follow on Twitter @NILC_org and Facebook.

About the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, CLINIC promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs. For more information about the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., visit www.cliniclegal.org, and follow on Twitter @ClinicLegal.

About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. We celebrated our 50thanniversary in 2013 and continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education and environmental justice.  For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @LawyersComm and like us on facebook.com/lawyerscommittee.

NILC Media Inquiries Contact: To coordinate interview opportunities with NILC, please contact Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832 or 213-400-7822 or delatorre@nilc.org.

CLINIC Media Inquiries Contact: To coordinate interview opportunities with CLINIC, please contact Maura Moser, 301-565-4830 or mmoser@cliniclegal.org.

Lawyers’ Committee Media inquiries Contact: To coordinate interview opportunities with the Lawyers’ Committee, please contact Stacie Royster, 202-662-8317 or sroyster@lawyerscommittee.org.

Non-media inquiries: If you have questions regarding the FirstGEN Fellowship program or are interested in serving as a partnering organization, guest speaker, or would like to financially support this program please contact Alejandro T. Reyes at 202-662-8321 or areyes@lawyerscommittee.org.

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