We have so much to be thankful for over the past 10 years and while we have accomplished so much there are still thousands of children who need our help in the years to come.
KIND was founded by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie in October 2008 to address the gap in legal services for unaccompanied children in the U.S.
In the first year, KIND began helping children in 7 field offices throughout the U.S. – Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, and Washington, D.C.
By the end of 2010, KIND had a staff of 25 helping over 2,500 children from 40 countries and partnered with over 80 law firms.
KIND launched the Guatemalan Child Return and Reintegration Project, a pilot project to help children who have to return home to Guatemala.
By the end of 2012, KIND had helped over 5,000 children from 66 countries and partnered with over 150 law firm, corporate, and law school partners.
By the end of 2013, KIND had trained over 6,000 pro bono attorneys to represent children in need and received over $60 million in pro bono assistance since 2009. KIND also merged with a prominent Seattle-based immigration services organization, creating our 8th office in Seattle, WA.
More than 68,000 children arrived at our borders–alone, afraid, and traumatized–a tenfold increase from the average when KIND opened its doors in 2009. More than 70% of these children had no one to represent them in court.
KIND nearly doubled in size by the end of 2014, with nearly 60 staff helping over 7,500 children and over 250 partners on board.
KIND added two new offices in San Francisco and Atlanta–bringing our total to 10 field offices nationwide. KIND also received support to add social services coordinators to help children with mental health and other needs.
KIND began research on sexual and gender based violence in Central America and expanded our Child Migrant Return and Reintegration Program (CMRRP) to include children from Honduras. KIND also launched a new legal services initiative in the UK, and started the Voices That Matter Most Project, working with children to share their immigration stories.
By the end of 2017, KIND had helped over 15,800 children, trained over 24,200 attorneys, and partnered with over 515 law firms, corporations, law schools and bar associations. KIND's success rate in cases we've represented through the duration of proceedings has reached 98%.
2018 marks KIND's 10-year anniversary. KIND would not be where we are today without the support and dedication of our partners, pro bono attorneys, volunteers, and our amazing staff, so from all of us at KIND, thank you.
PRO BONO SUPPORT
"These kids have nothing else – they donv’t have any safety net – we are that safety net…As a lawyer it was an extremely rewarding experience to know that you have a direct impact on helping someone, on changing and molding that person’s life’s story. It really doesn’t get any more rewarding than..."
“While the family and Layla won this asylum case because of their ability to tell their story, without attorneys, they wouldn’t have known the stories to tell and the importance of the experiences they had,” – Elaine Blais
“I’m grateful I had the opportunity to guide them through a system that’s hopelessly complex – and to develop a friendship with them. I usually work for big companies, but to have the chance to really look out for individuals and make an impact in their lives was rewarding.”
Los Angeles, CA
“I really enjoy working on the cases in part because I’m a first-generation immigrant. “For me, I feel like they are dealing with something that I potentially could have faced myself.”
“This case represented an opportunity to help hundreds if not thousands of kids who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent to help them have their cases heard by the federal government.”
New York City
“In addition to attorneys having a professional responsibility to provide pro bono legal services, it is personally fulfilling to utilize our legal skills to help someone navigate a difficult situation that would otherwise be very challenging. Something that may be fairly easy for us to handle could in fact be life-changing for a client.”
“It was clearly not safe for Zia to be deported to El Salvador; it would have been a death sentence. She clearly had a remedy to stay here in the United States but because she didn’t have a lawyer, she was very nearly deported.”
“All this support gave us the confidence to take on a case representing two siblings from Mexico. Reading the initial case intake, I already knew these two had lived through more trauma in their brief existence than I likely ever would in all of mine. It was intimidating, but also empowering, because we knew that - with the tools we’d been given through KIND - we would be able to help them.”
He has suffered so much in his young life, but despite it all he has been incredibly strong and he is thriving in the U.S. He came to the U.S. from Guatemala at age of 15 fleeing horrific and brutal physical, emotional and verbal abuse by his father. He will soon graduate from high school and plans to join the military—he says he is leaning toward the Marines.
Only a year after arriving from El Salvador, Alejandra was nominated to represent the student body at a district-wide program called Learn Serve, where 10th grade students are encouraged to create a service project to help their school community. Given her recent experiences as a victim of bullying related to her lack of English-language dominance, Alejandra chose to develop an anti-bullying campaign.As a result of her efforts on this campaign and for being an Honor Roll student, Alejandra was selected to meet former First Lady Michelle Obama on the International Day of the Women 2017. Alejandra shared the details of her campaign with the First Lady who encouraged her to spread it to other schools in the District. Now, in her senior year, Alejandra was accepted and has received a full ride scholarship to GW University.
Ismael is 17-years-old and from Honduras. Ismael fled his home after he was threatened by gangs in his neighborhood. Ismael is gay, and being gay in Honduras means he was targeted by the gangs and was told he would be killed. Ismael was afraid and with nowhere to turn for safety, he fled. Now, Ismael is thriving in high school and happy. He wrote: "When I arrived in the US, I saw that my rights could be valued and my sexuality could be treated with gender equality. Thanks to my attorney and my psychologists, I saw that I could be a new person, a person who had self-confidence. This year I went for the first time to a public celebration of my rights, the Pride Parade. It was so beautiful. There, I felt free. I finally could express myself just as I am alongside people similar to me, my new friends."
San Francisco, CA
Alicia, now 17, grew up in a home in Guatemala filled with violence and drug use. After threats made to the family by gang members, and after enduring years of abuse, Alicia fled Guatemala at the end of 2016. She now lives with family in California. After arriving in California, Alicia quickly learned English and graduated high school early. She then enrolled in a community college, where she studies communications. Alicia, who also loves movie production and special effects, plans to transfer to a four-year college, and one day, she wants to become an immigration attorney!
Los Angeles, CA
Annia, fled Honduras when she was 14 after her family was persecuted for political reasons following the Honduran Coup. Now, Annia is safe in the U.S. and is thriving in school. She is a junior in high school and has started the IB Full Diploma Programme maintaining a GPA of 4.3 and taking business management classes and journalism. Annia started as a copy editor for her school newspaper but is excited to say that next year she applied and was granted the position of Editor-in-Chief. Annia is starting to look at colleges and shared, that thanks to her KIND attorney, "I have found an area of expertise I am passionate about. As an immigrant myself I have lived and learned about the struggles that undocumented children go through. I want to make a long-lasting impact to fight for the rights of children and families that are in the search for a better life."
Two sisters received their asylum grant in Newark. Both sisters appeared overjoyed at the news of the grant. The older sister will graduate from high school in a few months (where her parents have praised her for her high grades) and is already applying to college—she said that one of the things that relieves her the most about the asylum grant is that she knows she can stay in the U.S. and go to school, and apply for financial aid. She is thinking of studying graphic design. The younger sister goes to high school in Newark, where she already studies advanced subjects in the English language, such as history.
Two former clients in Boston are now permanent residents awaiting their dream of applying for US Citizenship in a few years! They are thriving in school. Roberto received a full scholarship at Assumption College in MA and Paul is a straight A student.
Kevin was 16 years old when he fled Guatemala to escape abuse and gang violence. His pro bono attorney helped him obtain his green card, and now Kevin is starting his second year at a top tier college!