Elisabeth Centeno Lopez
Elisabeth Centeno Lopez is a civil litigator with a long-standing commitment to advancing the rights of immigrants, refugees, and children. As an undergraduate at Stanford University, Elisabeth worked as a Spanish-language interpreter and research assistant with Stanford Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and interned with Public Counsel’s Children’s Rights Project and Adoption Project. Prior to law school, Elisabeth worked for Human Rights First (HRF) in New York City as a John Gardner Public Service Fellow, supporting HRF’s Asylum Representation Program and Never Torture campaign. While attending Yale Law School, Elisabeth served as a student director and intern with the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization’s Immigration Legal Services Clinic and Domestic Violence Clinic, representing clients in asylum, VAWA, and family law matters. After graduating, she continued serving the immigrant community as a firm-sponsored staff attorney/fellow with the Immigration Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services. Prior to becoming Managing Attorney of KIND’s Baltimore Office, Elisabeth was a litigation associate for several years at Ropes & Gray LLP and clerked for The Honorable Stephanie A. Gallagher of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. She is admitted to practice law in California and the District of Columbia.
Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Sarah Choi is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Illinois College of Law. She started her legal practice as in-house counsel at a Fortune 500 company in the Chicago area, providing legal counsel in the areas of ethics, compliance, and securities. Sarah returned to Maryland in 2015 and volunteered with KIND’s Baltimore office. Shortly after, she joined another nonprofit organization practicing immigration law, focusing on family and humanitarian work. Sarah is dedicated to advocating for the rights of immigrants, including volunteering with the Dulles Justice Coalition at Dulles Airport in the wake of the Muslim travel ban in early 2017. She joined KIND in 2018 and is fluent in Korean.
Prior to joining KIND, Lili worked in a variety of community-based organizations dedicated to social and economic justice throughout the Americas. As part of her B.A. in International Development Studies and Women’s Studies at McGill University (2009), Lili focused her Honors Thesis on the labor conditions of Mexican women migrant workers in Quebec, traveling to Mexico to obtain workers’ testimonies. Following graduation, Lili worked at a community soup kitchen in Montreal for two and a half years before relocating to Latin America, where she conducted human rights accompaniment in Colombia and then worked as a Project Officer for cooperative development NGO The Working World in Nicaragua. Over the past seven years, Lili has written articles and produced audio documentaries on a variety of social justice issues in Latin America (National Film Board of Canada, Alternatives International Journal, Free Speech Radio News). Lili is originally from Columbia, Maryland and is excited to be back in her home state, connecting immigrant and refugee children with legal representation as they navigate the U.S. immigration system.
Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Leslie Espino is the daughter of two Guatemalan immigrants. She has two older sisters, and was born and raised in Nebraska. Leslie is a first-generation college graduate and received her Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a Goodrich Scholar and a member of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. Prior to attending law school, Leslie interned at the U.S. Committee of Refugee and Immigrants, where she called upon unaccompanied minors to share their stories in order to find them pro bono counsel. She also spent time as a Bilingual Paralegal at Legal Aid of Nebraska where she assisted callers, located throughout the state, with civil legal matters and screened immigrants calling the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline for legal assistance with their respective immigration matters. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from Creighton University School of Law where she was actively involved in the Latinx Law Student Association as the Vice President and Immigration Law Society as the President. While in law school, she interned at Ayuda in Washington, D.C., Justice for Our Neighbors, in Omaha, Nebraska, (now Immigrant Legal Center) and at the Immigration Court in Omaha, Nebraska. In her free time she likes to hang out with her two nephews and two nieces, travel, and read. Leslie is barred to practice law in Maryland.
Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Cielo Fortin-Camacho is proud immigrant with a firm commitment to serving vulnerable populations. Prior to joining KIND, Cielo volunteered and worked with Catholic Charities Fort Worth and the Law Office of Veronica Garza serving vulnerable immigrant populations throughout north and central Texas. Cielo has written for numerous publications, including various chapters for the most frequently cited money laundering and anti-terrorism treatise. Additionally, Cielo’s articles and comprehensive research on diversity within the legal profession has served as training material at state bar conferences. Cielo graduated from Texas A&M School of Law in 2017, where she was chosen to represent the law school as a Scribe inductee with The American Society of Legal Writers, served as the president of the Immigration Law Initiative and International Law Society, and was the recipient of several public interest grants. Cielo is also a graduate of Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and Dalian University of Foreign Languages in Dalian, China. In her spare time, Cielo currently serves as the vice-president of Benny’s Books, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she co-founded to promote literacy among Latino children and children from low income families generally. Cielo speaks French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and English.
Monica is a native of Watertown, South Dakota and a graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she studied Government, International Affairs, Spanish, and Anthropology. While at Augie, she was politically and civically active, getting involved in everything from a US Senate campaign to running a varieties show. Additionally, she spent part of her junior year working at the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington D.C. and Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduation, she immediately started working at the major South Dakota law firm Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, where she assisted the attorneys in the Trusts & Estates division. She held this position until she decided to move to Baltimore and begin a new adventure with KIND. When she isn’t working, you can find her walking her mini goldendoodle Atticus or doing YOGA. Most recently, she has started training for a half marathon in the fall.
Victoria has been providing direct legal representation to immigrants in the Maryland area since 2013. Prior to her position with KIND, she was a staff attorney with Catholic Charities of Baltimore, where she gained extensive experience representing victims of domestic violence and the general immigrant population. She is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she was a Student Attorney with the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. Victoria holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish from Georgetown University and Certificates of Translation in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. She is grateful for the ability to serve Maryland’s immigrants.
Social Services Coordinator
Prior to coming to KIND, Michael worked as a family services coordinator for children and families at the Federal poverty level. Michael is a licensed social worker, and has extensive experience in working with immigrants in the area, including coordinating post-release services and home-based case management in-home case management for unaccompanied youth released from ORR detention. Michael has also worked as a home study social worker for an ORR national partner, and coordinated the safe release and family reunification of numerous unaccompanied Central American youth with their parents and guardians. Michael has over 8 years of experience in providing direct services and program coordination for immigrant families in and around the Baltimore region. Before moving to Baltimore, Michael spent 2 years living in Guatemala as a community development volunteer with the Peace Corps. Michael lives in Baltimore with his wife and 2 children. He is a die-hard Orioles fan.
Jorge was born in Ensenada, Mexico, and grew up along the United States-Mexico border. After six years at San Diego City College, he transferred to University of California San Diego, where he majored in Latin American Studies. Following graduation from UCSD, Jorge was a case manager at the Montgomery County Maryland Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Program for five years. Jorge enjoys collecting vinyl records, playing soccer, and riding his bicycle.
Senior Direct Representation Attorney
Alejandra Morisi is the Senior Direct Representation Attorney with the KIND Baltimore office. Since 2014, she has been providing direct legal representation services to unaccompanied children and their families in the Maryland area. She has been actively involved in the advocacy and education regarding unaccompanied children and their immigration relief. Alejandra has been a panelist and guest speaker at the Judicial College of Maryland; our local radio station, WYPR; and University of Maryland-Baltimore County among others. Prior to her position with KIND, she was a solo practitioner and a staff attorney with Catholic Charities of Baltimore. She is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and holds an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University. Alejandra is a native Spanish speaker and a first generation immigrant from Chile.
Daniela is a Program Assistant for the Legal Services Team at KIND’s Baltimore office. As the daughter of a Colombian family and a first-generation college graduate, she feels a special connection to the immigrant and refugee community of the U.S., and is dedicated to being a sincere advocate for this community. Graduating from Shepherd University in 2018, Daniela earned her B.A. in Global Studies upon completing her undergraduate capstone on the topic of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. She has experience working with local undocumented families and individuals in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia through her volunteer work with Catholic Charities during her college years, assisting local immigrants by directing them to the resources they required. She plans to further her education and obtain her Master’s degree in Latin American Studies in the future and is excited to serve immigrant children and child refugees through KIND.
Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Hina is a graduate of The George Washington University and of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida. While in law school, she was a Student Representative in the Immigration Clinic, representing indigent clients in front of the Executive Office of Immigration Review. Previously, Hina worked for the MCASA’s Sexual Assault Legal Institute representing survivors of sexual assault throughout the state of Maryland. Most recently, she was a Staff Attorney at Ayuda’s Washington, D.C. office representing unaccompanied minors in immigration law matters.
Direct Representation Attorney
Diana Saavedra grew up in Juarez, Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 9. She is a first generation college graduate and received her Bachelor’s and Masters of Criminal Justice from New Mexico State University. While in graduate school she interned at the Southwest Asylum and Migration Institute, and Catholic Charities- Diocese of Las Cruces. She graduated from Howard University School of Law in May 2018. During law school, she was the president of the Latinx association La Alianza, Vice President of the Immigration Law Society, and an active member of the Hispanic Bar Association of D.C. As her role in the Immigration Law Society at Howard, she organized and lead an alternative spring break trip to Dilley, Texas to provide legal assistance to arriving immigrants. She was also the recipient of a scholarship from the Hispanic Bar Association of D.C. in 2017. As an immigrant herself, she has a personal commitment to public interest and more specifically to give back to the immigrant community. Ms. Saavedra now resides in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two step-daughters.
Carly Sessions is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School, where she was a Student Attorney at the GW Immigration Clinic and an Executive Board Member of the GW Immigration Law Association. Prior to joining KIND, she was a solo practitioner who’s practice focused on asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. Prior to attending law school she obtained a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, and worked as a high school teacher. Her experience working with undocumented high school students inspired her to pursue a career that would afford immigrant children greater opportunities, hope for the future, and the ability to work to reach their dreams. She is a life-long student of Portuguese and Spanish, and she is barred in Maryland.
Interim Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney
Bio coming soon