Senior Vice President, Legal Programs
Maria M. Odom is the Senior Vice President, Legal Programs at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), where she leads a team of immigration legal experts advancing the representation of unaccompanied children in removal proceedings. In this role, Ms. Odom oversees the management of KIND’s 10 field offices, leading the development and implementation of legal services programming nationwide, including pro bono representation of over 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children per year as well as the provision of innovative legal trainings and technical assistance in immigration law and policy. Her department also delivers comprehensive social services programs to address the special needs of unaccompanied children. In the near past, Odom served as the DHS Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman in the administration of President Barack Obama. In that role, she worked with community leaders and immigration professionals across the country to improve the quality of citizenship and immigration services delivered to the public. As Ombudsman, she reported to and testified before the U.S. Congress regarding systemic issues in our country’s immigration system. Odom is a nationally recognized legal and policy expert with a wide range of immigration experience in the private, government, and charitable sectors. She previously led the country’s largest network of charitable legal immigration programs as Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). For a decade, she practiced immigration law in the southeast, leading a successful private practice in the areas of deportation defense, humanitarian protections, as well as business and family-based immigration. Early in her career, Odom served at the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant District Counsel for the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service and as a judicial law clerk at the Executive Office for Immigration Review. At DHS, Odom led the department’s human trafficking prevention, training, and public education efforts as Chair of the DHS Blue Campaign. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Freedom Network, which works in coalition with service providers and survivor leaders to advance a rights-based approach to address human trafficking in the United States. Odom is a graduate of The Florida State University College of Criminology and the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. She currently lives in New York City.
Vice President, Legal Programs
Laurie Carafone is the Vice President, Legal Programs at KIND, where she oversees legal services programming across KIND’s offices nationwide. Laurie has over a decade of experience working with refugee and immigrant children and families, and has led teams in the delivery of legal services within KIND since 2011. Prior to joining KIND, Laurie represented clients at Community Legal Services and Counseling Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was an associate at a boutique litigation law firm. Laurie has received recognition for her work in human rights law including the Women of Justice award by the Women’s Bar Association; selection as a Rising Star in the Non-Profit sector and a Top Women Attorney Rising Star by Boston Magazine; and appointment as a Boston Bar Association Public Interest Leadership Fellow. Laurie earned her law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was chosen as a Ford Outstanding Woman Law Scholar and a Bergstrom Child Welfare Fellow, and received the Book Award in Public International Law. She earned her B.A. in literature cum laude from Dartmouth College where she was named a Rufus Choate Scholar and a Dartmouth Partners in Community Service Fellow. Laurie holds a Masters in Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and authored a paper on the role of faith-based organizations in meeting the needs of women and girl migrants and refugees in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, published by the Center for Migration Studies in 2018.
Senior Director, Legal Training
Juliann (Juli) oversees the Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle offices of KIND, and works to develop and implement universally applicable, yet practical, procedures and policies for a national legal services program representing unaccompanied immigrant children. Prior to joining KIND, she was the Director of Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice (VAIJ). Started in 2003, VAIJ provided pro bono representation to detained immigrants, adults and unaccompanied children, in removal proceedings in the Seattle area. As the Director of VAIJ, Juli launched the program, developed trainings and mentored pro bono attorneys who had volunteered to provide pro bono representation to immigrants before US immigration authorities. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.
Senior Director, Planning and Performance
Marisa Howe has worked in immigration law since 2003. She began her legal career as an associate at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, PC, developing a wide-ranging business immigration law practice for over nine years. While at Mintz Levin, she also maintained a robust pro bono practice, including a year-long fellowship with Boston-based PAIR (Political Asylum and Immigration Representation) Project as well as serving on the firm’s pro bono committee and providing asylum case administration and mentorship at the firm for many years. Marisa has also previously served as a Board Member of the PAIR Project. In 2011, Marisa was the recipient of Richard Mintz Pro Bono Award, and in 2012, the PAIR Project honored her with the Pro Bono Mentor of the Year award. From 2012 to 2015, Marisa served as a manager of international services for the global law firm, Ropes & Gray LLP. Marisa is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Dartmouth College.
Senior Director, Pro Bono Partnerships
Nirupa Narayan oversees KIND’s national pro bono partnerships with law firms, corporations, law schools, and bar associations. Prior to joining KIND, Ms. Narayan served as Pro Bono Legal Advisor at Justice Without Borders where she partnered with law students and pro bono attorneys to provide access to justice to abused and exploited migrant workers in Singapore. She also worked as head of the press office at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. Previously, Ms. Narayan managed the pro bono and immigration programs at the Tahirih Justice Center. Before her work at Tahirih, Ms. Narayan represented immigrant survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking at Boat People SOS and individuals living with HIV at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Ms. Narayan holds an LL.M. from American University, Washington College of Law, a J.D. from New York Law School, and a B.A. from Michigan State University.
Senior Director, Field Management
Priya Konings is child welfare attorney who has been working with child protection issues through her legal career. Prior to joining KIND she provided direct representation to abused and neglected children in the Maryland and D.C. foster care systems at the Law Offices of Darlene A. Wakefield, P.A. She also completed internships and has volunteered at organizations such Women Empowered Against Violence, UNHCR, and the Baltimore City Teen Court Program. Ms. Konings has argued before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals numerous times, has written for a variety of legal publications in the area of child welfare law, and received the Bar Association for Montgomery County, Maryland President’s Citation for Outstanding Pro Bono Service in 2012. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2006, where she was a Rose Zetzer Women, Leadership, and Equality Program Fellow and recipient of several public interest grants. Ms. Konings currently resides in Takoma Park with her husband and two cats.
Senior Director, Labor Exploitation Prevention Program
Suzanne Tomatore joined KIND in October 2023 as Senior Director, Labor Exploitation Prevention Program, leading KIND’s labor exploitation prevention and mitigation programming. With more than twenty years of experience advocating for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, child abuse, and violent gender-based crimes, Suzanne brings a deep expertise and connection to the work. Over the years, she worked closely with survivors and has been a critical voice in the larger local, national, and international conversation about human trafficking and violence. Suzanne has trained pro bono attorneys, judges, community-based organizations, health-care providers, law enforcement, and government officials on human trafficking. She has participated in delegations to Vienna, Warsaw, and Brussels, and lectured on the topic across the United States and abroad, including in Canada, Venezuela, Mongolia, Mexico and the Philippines. At the local level, Suzanne has contributed expertise to multiple anti-trafficking task forces, including the Brooklyn DA’s Human Trafficking Task Force and the New York City Mayor's Office Survivors of Human Exploitation Working Group, helping to create a successful public outreach campaign. Suzanne is a graduate of CUNY Law School. Following law school, she was a recipient of the Open Society Institute Community Fellowship for implementing and directing the Immigrant Community Domestic Violence Project. As a fellow, she conducted extensive community outreach to connect battered women with resources under the Violence Against Women Act. Later, Suzanne joined the City Bar Justice Center where she held various positions, including Deputy Director, Co-Director of the Immigrant Justice Project, Director of the Immigrant Women & Children Project, and Director of the Cancer Advocacy Project. In addition to her experience in human trafficking and immigration, Suzanne has used her expertise to create successful advocacy organizations. She was a founding member of the New York Anti-trafficking Network, the New York City VAWA Advocates, and served as co-chair and board member of the Freedom Network, a national coalition of advocates and experts serving human trafficking survivors in the U.S., where she helped launch and facilitate the organization’s development into the established nonprofit that it is today. She holds a certificate in Not-for-Profit Financial Management and Reporting from Baruch College. Prior to joining KIND, Suzanne served as an Asylum Officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Senior Director, Social Services
Wendy Miron, LCSW is currently serving as Senior Director, Social Services at KIND. In this role, Wendy provides leadership, strategic vision, and guidance to ensure trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and strengths-based support to the structure and practices that guide social service delivery to migrant and unaccompanied children. Wendy has 17 years of post-graduate experience working in the nonprofit sector alongside marginalized communities advancing social justice principles while at Sanctuary for Families, Union Settlement, and other community-based agencies. Prior to joining KIND in July 2019, Wendy served as Program Director for the Parenting and Child Development Program at LSA Family Health Service in East Harlem, NY. She has been an active member of local and national coalitions that promote child well-being and equity in immigrant communities, including work with the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and Vital Villages’ Networks of Opportunities (NOW). Wendy has presented at various symposiums and conferences throughout the years on best practices in working with migrant families, and therapeutic interventions for children impacted by trauma. Wendy was born and raised in Guatemala and migrated to South Florida at the age of ten. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University, an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Religious Studies from Florida International University, and a graduate program in Parent-Infant Mental Health and Trauma from Adelphi University. She is currently pursuing a DSW degree at Simmons University.
Alexandra Peredo Carroll
Deputy Director, Planning & Performance
Alex joined KIND’s in 2016 as a pro bono coordinating attorney. Before coming to KIND, Alex ran a solo immigration practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A 2006 graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Alex started practicing immigration law in as an associate at an immigration firm in San Juan, Puerto Rico, handling removal defense and family-based immigration cases while managing the litigation side of the firm. She opened her office in Boston in 2011 and her practice evolved to focus on the representation of children in removal proceedings. Prior to her career in immigration law, Alex was a staff attorney at Massachusetts Advocates for Children where she represented parents of children with special needs. Alex is co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Immigration Section Steering Committee and is an active member of the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Deputy Director, Pro Bono Partnerships
Katherine Krassilnikoff is the Deputy Director for Pro Bono Partnerships at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and works on KIND’s national pro bono partnerships with law firms, corporations, law schools, and bar associations. Katherine is based in Northern California and joined KIND in 2016 as a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, working in the San Francisco, CA and Fresno, CA field offices. Katherine recruited, trained, and mentored pro bono attorneys to represent Unaccompanied Children during that time and served as the Managing Attorney for the Fresno field office until assuming her current role in January 2023. She is admitted to practice law in California and received her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law where she earned a Social Justice and Public Interest Certificate.
Director, Legal Training
Prior to joining KIND in September 2016 as a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Andrea spent six years as a Litigation and Trial Associate at Latham & Watkins, LLP where she maintained an active pro bono immigration practice representing detained and non-detained clients in affirmative applications and petitions, removal proceedings, and appeals before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigration Courts, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. While at Latham, Andrea served as Pro Bono Liaison to the Tahirih Justice Center where she was a full-time volunteer Immigration and Public Policy Attorney from 2009-2010. Andrea received her J.D., summa cum laude from American University’s Washington College of Law and her master’s degree in International Policy from the School of International Service in 2009. In law school, Andrea worked as a Research Associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group and interned with Women for Women International. Prior to law school, Andrea worked at the District of Columbia’s Office of Administrative Hearings. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Duke University.
Director, U.S. - Mexico Border Program
Dulce paid her way through school, and subsequently transferred to the University of California San Diego where she received her bachelor's degree in Political Science. She attended law school at Cleveland Marshall College of Law where she received her Jurisprudence Doctorate with a concentration in Civil Litigation. Dulce opened her private practice in 2016 and has provided hundreds of free consultations and dozens of Know Your Rights workshops to inform community members of their rights. She has represented low income clients in court in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate and various nonprofit organizations. Dulce organized legal clinics in Tijuana to process over 1,000 asylum seekers into the US. In September 2017, Dulce sued Trump and the administration after the termination of DACA. As a result of those efforts in court, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients are able to renew their DACA status while the case is in litigation. Dulce was in the Supreme Court on November 12, 2019 defending DACA. Since then, Dulce continues to advocate for more humane immigration laws and policies. Dulce is licensed to practice law in California and is engaged in the federal practice of immigration law.
Director, Legal Training
Rebekah Fletcher is Director, Legal Training at KIND, helping to develop training programs and provide legal technical assistance to field office staff and pro bono attorneys. Rebekah has practiced in the area of children’s immigration law for over 11 years. From 2008-2015 she was an attorney with KIND’s Seattle office and its predecessor, Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice, helping to build its legal services program for detained unaccompanied children in Washington State. She subsequently joined the U. of Washington School of Law’s Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic, where she taught immigration law course content and oversaw student representation of child clients in state courts and immigration proceedings. In 2016 Rebekah was a consultant to UNHCR, assisting with its monitoring effort of the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s national program for the custody of unaccompanied children. She returned to KIND’s Seattle office in 2018 as Supervising Attorney for Detained Programs before becoming Deputy Director. Rebekah is a 2007 graduate of the City U. of New York School of Law.
Director, Legal Strategy
Wendy Wylegala is the Director, Legal Strategy at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). She designs legal training programs, writes practice guidance, and provides case-specific technical assistance to a legal staff of over 130 in KIND’s ten field offices. Wendy joined KIND in November 2008 as a pro bono coordinator, working in the Newark, NJ and New York, NY field offices. In that capacity, she trained and mentored pro bono attorneys, and conducted intake interviews and know-your-rights programs for detained and released unaccompanied children. Later she served as supervising attorney in the New York field office for four years until assuming her current role in January 2016. Before joining KIND, Wendy worked at a private law firm for eight years, and represented special immigrant juvenile clients on a pro bono basis. Before attending law school, she was an Ombudsman at New York City’s Office of the Public Advocate. She is admitted to practice in New York, and received her law degree from New York University School of Law, and her B.A. from Barnard College. She is a member of the New York City Chapter of AILA, and of the Immigration and Nationality Committee of the New York City Bar Association.
Director, National Programs
As an immigration law expert with over ten years in the field, Christie oversees KIND’s family separation work nationwide, in addition to other special initiatives and national programs. Christie previously served as Deputy Director of Legal Services, helping manage KIND’s East Coast field offices. Christie also served as the Managing Attorney for KIND’s Washington, DC and Northern Virginia field offices. Prior to joining KIND, Christie was a Supervising Attorney at Catholic Charities’ Hogar Immigrant Services in Virginia, where her work included deportation defense and family-based immigration matters. A 2008 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Christie was a Fellow at the National Women’s Law Center and interned at several immigrant rights organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Catholic Charities of Washington, DC, and American Gateways in Austin, Texas. In addition, Christie participated in the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic and Transnational Worker Rights Clinic and served as a Human Rights Scholar with the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Prior to law school, Christie spent three years supporting consumer protection investigations and litigation at the Federal Trade Commission.
Regional Director, Legal Services - West
Carrey Wong is KIND's Regional Director, Legal Services, West. She has been in this role since February 2021, and she oversees the 4 offices in the west coast (Seattle, San Francisco, Fresno and Los Angeles). Carrey joined KIND in September 2016 as Managing Attorney of the Newark field office, where she oversaw the supervision, case work, and worked with various external stakeholders in New Jersey. Prior to joining KIND, Carrey was the Assistant Director of Client Services at the New York Asian Women’s Center (NYAWC) where she oversaw NYAWC’s legal department, anti-human trafficking program, sexual violence program, as well as the agency’s work in outreach, workforce development and language access. Carrey also worked as NYAWC’s Legal Services Manager, primarily focused on providing immigration legal representation and legal referrals for the Center’s clients. After law school, Carrey was a Staff Attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) for seven years. She started her work there in family law and immigration law, representing low income clients who were mostly monolingual domestic violence survivors. She was also selected as co-chair of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Domestic Violence Task Force, a collaboration of legal, political, social services, law enforcement, and shelter organizations. While Carrey was with NLSLA, she also worked at their courthouse Self-Help Legal Access Center in Pasadena, and created the first Mandarin divorce workshop series. Carrey’s legal professional experience began with clerkships at the Asian Law Caucus, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Los Angeles Superior Court for Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon. She received her J.D. from UC Hastings in 2005, graduating in the top third of her class with a concentration in civil litigation and a Public Interest Law Certificate from the Public Interest Clearinghouse. She is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, California and New York. Carrey is fluent is Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese.
Regional Director, Social Services - East
Jasiel is KIND’s Regional Director, Social Services (East). She brings to this position over 13 years of experience working with and on behalf of vulnerable immigrant communities. Jasiel believes that the immigrant experience brings with it a certain degree of traumatization, especially for children, and she has worked arduously to bridge the service and support gap for this population. Jasiel has extensive experience developing and managing local to regional community-based programs for low-income and immigrant families. Most recently, Jasiel speared-headed KIND’s Boston Field office programming on socioemotional support, building capacity and designing strategies for KIND’s pro bono partners and staff to more effectively serve deeply traumatized, vulnerable Central American unaccompanied minors facing removal proceedings. Jasiel’s counseling experience focuses on immigrant and refugee complex trauma, families with adolescents, and at-risk youth. Her clinical interests include immigrant/refugee trauma, immigrant integration, and the intersectionality of immigrant mental health, faith, and resilience. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, and a master’s in clinical counseling as well as a graduate certificate in Principles of Trauma-Informed Care from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
Regional Director, Legal Services - East
Elisa Gahng is the Regional Director, Legal Services - East at KIND. Prior to joining KIND in July 2017, Ms. Gahng served as the Assistant General Counsel at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), where she oversaw much of the office’s federal immigration law and policy docket, with an emphasis on increasing access to justice to particularly vulnerable immigrant populations in New York City including refugees, asylees, DACA-holders, individuals with Temporary Protected Status, and immigrant victims of crime. Prior to MOIA, Ms. Gahng served as a Staff Attorney at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, where she represented individuals before the immigration court and USCIS. Her previous experience includes work at the Women’s Refugee Commission, the International Organization of Migration, and the U.S. Department of Justice Headquarters Immigration Court. Ms. Gahng received her JD from Georgetown University Law Center and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Regional Director, Social Services - South
Sarah Donovan joined KIND as the Regional Director, Social Services, South in July of 2023. Before making this transition back into the nonprofit world, Sarah served on the social work faculty of Appalachian State University from 2016-2023. She completed her undergraduate studies at AppState in 2004 and went on to earn her MSW from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill in 2006. During her studies, Sarah spent a semester in Santander, Spain, and had the unique opportunity to spend a month in Mexico learning about the push factors of immigration during the summer of 2005. Latine immigrant youth and families have always been at the center of Sarah's social work practice, research, teaching, and advocacy work. Before becoming a social work educator, she worked as a Bilingual Parent Educator for the Children's Council of Watauga County, Bilingual Home Visitor with Durham Early Head Start at the Center for Child and Family Health, and Program Coordinator/Hispanic Outreach Liaison for the GEAR UP Appalachian Partnership. During her time in academia, Sarah was involved in research and service activities related to educational opportunities for Latine youth and helped establish the Immigrant Mountaineers Movement at AppState. She also serves on the board of the Immigrant Justice Coalition and is a respected advocate for immigration-affected families in her community of Boone, NC. Sarah lives in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina with her husband, 2 children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats.
Regional Director, Social Services - West
Sierra Molton is KIND’s Regional Director, Social Services, West. Prior to joining KIND in January of 2022, Sierra spent 20 years serving unaccompanied refugee and immigrant minors as both a Social Worker and then Clinical Program Manager with Refugees NW Foster Care, a program of Lutheran Community Services. Sierra is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She received her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Washington and her undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Psychology and Spanish. Sierra began her career as a social worker in northern Chile, where she lived for 2 ½ years while volunteering in a group home through Jesuit Volunteers International. Sierra is honored to work for KIND and is committed to supporting the growth and success of the social services team to promote the rights and well-being of all unaccompanied children. Sierra currently resides in Seattle with her husband and twin daughters.
National Managing Attorney
Claire Doutre is part of KIND’s National team. She initially joined the KIND team in November 2015 as part of KIND’s Houston office and enjoyed working there during five and a half years. Claire then re-joined the KIND team in September 2021 as a national senior attorney. Claire earned her bachelor’s degree in politics and history from New York University, and she obtained her law degree from Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. While in law school, Claire participated in Pace’s immigration clinic which sparked her interest in becoming an immigration attorney. Prior to joining KIND, Claire worked for Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston where she represented children for humanitarian reliefs, especially Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Asylum. Claire also worked with the children’s project at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. , Claire is licensed to practice law in Texas and is engaged in the federal practice of immigration law.”
National Staff Attorney
Caroline Silva was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Caroline's family is from Puerto Rico. Caroline received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from The Ohio State University. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. Caroline is licensed in Maryland and Washington State. She is fluent in Spanish. She has always had an interest in serving others. Caroline has a passion in equity and justice and found that the best place to use this passion is in immigration law. Her first exposure to immigration law was interning for a private law firm and the immigration clinic in her law school. Caroline really enjoyed working with the clients and found that there was a need for representation in this field. The main area of practice has been in removal defense relating with claims for asylum and cancellation of removal. Caroline represented youth in obtaining their predicate orders in state court proceedings in both the states of Maryland and Washington. She is happy to be working in a non-profit organization where she can better serve immigrants. Outside of work, she enjoys her time with her husband, son, and two dogs. Caroline loves to travel and go on hikes in the beautiful state of Washington.
National Senior Attorney
Jose is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School where he concentrated in international law and with an area of focus on immigration law. Jose has worked at various immigration law firms where he has gained experience in removal defense, family, and humanitarian immigration petitions. Attorney Carrasquillo represents minors in individuals in removal proceedings and before US Citizenship and Immigration Services. A native Spanish speaker, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Attorney Carrasquillo has extensive international experience he conducted graduate level research in San Jose, Costa Rica and Havana, Cuba while completing an M.S. in International Relations with a specialization in Central and South American political systems. Attorney Carrasquillo received his M.S. and B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. His extensive research and first-hand experience inform his approach to navigating the complex social and political issues that many immigrants face today. Jose is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and is engaged in the federal practice of immigration law.
Acting National Senior Attorney
In May 2022 Marcela joined KIND as Managing Attorney. Marcela has focused her legal practice on providing stability, security, and peace of mind for her clients. Prior to joining KIND, Marcela led the Children’s Program at Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, served as an Advisory Committee Member for the ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy, and was a Leadership ISD Legislative Voices Fellow focusing on education advocacy in Texas. Throughout her career, Marcela has provided counsel on immigration, family, education, and opportunity creation. Her breadth of professional experience paired with her personal experience as the child of both an immigrant and a non-immigrant parent gives her a multifaceted lens that she applies to her work. Marcela graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies with concentrations in Business and Spanish, and later earned her Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law. During law school, Marcela participated in an international program focused on Human Rights and Humanitarian law in The Hague, Netherlands, and Freiburg, Germany. Marcela is an avid reader of thriller novels, and enjoys baking, kayaking, and adventuring with her pets.
National Staff Attorney
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science degree in International Finance from the American University of Paris, and her Juris Doctorate from the St. Mary's University. Stephanie is licensed to practice law in Texas and is engaged in the federal practice of immigration law.
Pro Bono Program Manager
Bio coming soon!
Senior Attorney, Legal Training
Sara Dunsky supports the Legal Training team at KIND, where she provides training and legal technical support to KIND’s attorneys and other legal staff. She joined the team in August of 2022. Before joining KIND, Sara was a Staff Attorney and Clinical Supervisor in the Immigration Unit at the East Bay Community Law Center, in Berkeley, CA. In that capacity, she taught immigration law, policy, and practice to students from Berkeley Law and other law schools across the country, and supervised those students in their clinical work with immigrant clients. In addition, she personally represented individuals and families pursuing humanitarian and family-based forms of immigration relief before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, including in applications based on fear of persecution, childhood abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and survival of serious crimes including human trafficking. Prior to that, Sara ran a solo immigration practice in San Francisco, CA, where she focused on humanitarian and family-based forms of immigration relief for mostly low-income individuals. Sara also previously worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Montgomery County, MD, and she holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Senior Attorney, Legal Training
Tatiana Hernandez is a Senior Attorney with the Legal Training team at KIND, where she provides training and legal technical support to KIND’s attorneys and other legal staff. She joined the team in November of 2022. Before joining KIND, Tatiana was a Senior Attorney at Americans for Immigrant Justice (AIJ) in Miami, FL. Tatiana worked on the Lucha Program at AIJ, specializing in providing free legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking assisting in their applications for a wide range of immigration benefits. Tatiana started her work at AIJ by joining the Children’s program, on this program she provided unaccompanied minors with defense from removal. She also prepared dependency petitions for state court and filed many applications for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum, U visas and other relief before USCIS. Prior to her work at AIJ, Tatiana completed a yearlong fellowship at Ayuda in Falls Church, Virginia. During her fellowship she had the opportunity to represent individuals on a variety of general immigration matters. Tatiana’s experience reflects her commitment to advocating for immigrant women, children and victims of crime and is guided by her passion for fighting for the rights of others. Tatiana is a Cuban/Colombian second generation American and she holds a B.A. from Florida State University, and a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.
Guisel Hernandez joined KIND as a Paralegal in August 2021, promoted to National Paralegal in August 2023. Prior to joining KIND she was an intern with Human Rights First in Los Angeles, where she helped connect asylum seekers with pro bono legal representation. Guisel received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego. Her studies focused on understanding the conflict dynamics in Latin America that force people to flee from their home country. She became interested in advocating for the rights of migrants and refugees after hearing stories about the socioeconomic, language, and cultural barriers her parents faced in their home country, and when they immigrated to the United States from their native village in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her interest in migrant rights further developed through her volunteer experience with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant as an interpreter for immigrants and people fleeing violence and persecution. As an interpreter, Guisel assisted with conducting intakes interviews and translating for clients during their asylum interviews and other legal appointments. She looks forward to continuing her passion for human rights and providing the support that people need to survive and thrive.
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Bio coming soon.
Ruth Schneider is a Program Coordinator for Legal Programs at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), where she provides administrative and executive support to the team. She joined KIND in the fall of 2023 and is excited to be a part of the organization. Prior to working with KIND Ruth worked with the National Partnership for New Americans, assisting in program development for local communities. She worked with their team to create accessible education and legal action in underserved communities as well as advocating for immigrant rights at a national level.