Janet Gwilym serves as the Managing Attorney for Pro Bono Programs with KIND’s Seattle office. She moved into this position in October 2016 after serving for over three years as Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney and KIND Attorney Liaison with Microsoft, where she recruited, trained, coordinated, mentored, and co-counseled with Microsoft employees to provide pro bono representation to KIND’s clients. Before attending law school, Janet worked for fifteen years as a paralegal and program coordinator with immigration law firms and immigrant rights organizations where her caseload included asylum, VAWA, U Visas, humanitarian parole, naturalization, and family cases. She also lived in a small city in Southern China for two years, teaching English at a university to students and professors. Throughout her career, Janet has served on numerous boards and committees for immigrant and refugee rights organizations, programs serving survivors of domestic violence, and the public schools in Seattle. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington’s School of Law, where she discovered her passion for working in the intersection of immigration and juvenile law and especially with unaccompanied children.
Staff Attorney – Detained Programs
Kelsey is a Staff Attorney at KIND’s Seattle office where she provides direct representation to detained youth in Washington. Kelsey received her J.D. from University of Washington School of Law. During law school, she interned with the Northwest Justice Project Farmworker Justice program, participated in the International Human Rights Clinic, and worked for a private immigration attorney. Prior to law school, Kelsey worked as a Caseworker with the International Rescue Committee where she provided direct services to newly resettled refugees and later as a Senior Caseworker with the Resettlement Support Center in Kenya where she conducted interviews and processed cases for refugees referred to the U.S. refugee admissions program.
Senior Attorney, Microsoft Coordinator
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Sarah Sarfaty Epstein
Social Services Coordinator
Sarah joined KIND in May of 2018 after previously working as a Bilingual Community Advocate for youth and young adult survivors of human trafficking in King County. In that role, Sarah was providing intensive, trauma-informed case management to clients, many of whom were unaccompanied children from Latin America. In 2015, Sarah graduated from Boston University and went on to work as an intern at the legal clinic of Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI) in Mexico City. Upon moving to Seattle, Sarah worked at El Centro de la Raza in their educational programming. As the daughter of a Peruvian immigrant, Sarah holds motivation for immigration justice close to her heart.
Taylor Faranda is a Staff Attorney in KIND's Seattle office working with the City of Seattle and King County's Expanded Legal Defense Network. She graduated with her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2018 and received her B.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies and Spanish from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington in 2012. During law school, Taylor participated in various organizations providing legal aid to immigrants and refugees and she was a clinical student in her law school's Asylum and Human Rights Clinic and DACA and Immigration Detention Clinic. After graduating from law school, Taylor completed a clerkship with the Honorable Steven D. Ecker on the Connecticut Supreme Court. She is licensed to practice law in Washington.
Elizabeth Rueda Herrera
Elizabeth joined Kids in Need of Defense as the Program Coordinator for the Seattle office in October of 2017. At KIND, Elizabeth works with detained youth in federal government custody by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, where she conducts “Know Your Rights” presentations and provides legal screenings and attorney support to unaccompanied children in shelters across Washington State. Prior to working for KIND, Elizabeth worked as a Legal Assistant and Spanish interpreter for Open Door Legal Services, a legal clinic and department of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, where she assisted primarily homeless and low-income individuals in meeting their various legal needs. Elizabeth developed her interest in immigration justice in the summer of 2015, after working as a Paralegal for a firm in Oregon, representing adults in family, criminal and immigration matters, including family petitions, bonds, and removal defense. Elizabeth graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2015, where she received bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Theology. Elizabeth identifies as indigenous Mixteco and originates from Oaxaca, Mexico. The daughter of two immigrant parents, Elizabeth holds immigration advocacy very close to her heart, because she knows firsthand how much it meant for her and her family to have legal support when she was growing up, and how much it continues to make a difference in their lives.
Program Assistant – Detained Program
bio coming soon
Social Services Coordinator
Bio coming soon.
Hillary graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Geography. Shortly thereafter, she pursued her law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. During law school she interned with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, and the Northwest Justice Project. Hillary began her immigration legal career representing adults in family petitions, bonds, and removal defense. She was later hired by Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston to represent unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings. Hillary worked with children who feared return to their country due to violence, children that had suffered trauma, and child trafficking victims. She has experience representing clients before the immigration court, USCIS, consular officials, and law enforcement agencies. Hillary is licensed to practice law in Texas and is fluent in Spanish.
Bio coming soon.
Bio Coming Soon
Staff Attorney, Detained Program
Jamilah Mena joined KIND’s Seattle detained program in October 2020. Prior to joining KIND, she worked at an employment-based immigration law firm to help clients apply for work visas mainly H-1B and L-1 petitions. Previously Jamilah she was employed at a global law firm where she worked on litigation matters and advised unaccompanied migrant children on asylum, guardianship and special immigrant juvenile status cases. During law school, Jamilah focused her legal studies on international affairs. She took courses such as International Law, International Trade Law & Policy, The World Trade Organization Law as well as Culture and Negotiation. She also studied Chinese Law for a semester at Peking University Law School in Beijing, China, where she learned more about the rule of law in China. Prior to law school, Jamilah worked in Beijing as an English Teacher to young learners and as a project assistant for the Jane Goodall Institute China. She also taught English in Puebla, Mexico. Jamilah is of Garifuna-Honduran descent, grew up helping her family navigate the immigration system and is excited to help KIND's efforts with bridging the gap between unrepresented refugees and the US judicial system. Jamilah earned a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College where she studied Geography and Chinese Language.
Holly joined Kids in Need of Defense in January of 2017. Previously Holly served as case manager and paralegal for various immigration legal service providers in Texas and Kentucky. Holly studied social work and Spanish at the University of Kentucky.
Charity Ramsey (or Caridad, as she is known to her clients) is a graduate of Regent University School of Law where she was awarded a World Changer Scholarship due to her commitment to social justice. During law school she worked for a private immigration firm and interned for Jubilee Campaign where she helped secure asylum for a victim of female genital mutilation. After graduating, she worked as a Fellow for Shared Hope International researching states’ human trafficking laws. Since becoming an attorney she has worked primarily with low income and Hispanic populations through volunteer work with local non-profit and legal aid organizations. Charity studied abroad in France and East Africa while completing her undergraduate degree at Evangel University. She spent most of her childhood as an immigrant in Latin America, primarily Argentina. The cross-cultural and language skills she developed through this experience have been invaluable in her work with unaccompanied children at KIND.
Equal Justice Works Fellow
Javiera Wood is an Equal Justice Works Fellow in KIND's Seattle office. She graduated with her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law in 2020 and received her B.A. in International Studies and Chinese from the University of Oregon. During law school, Javiera interned for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and worked as a judicial extern for Washington State Supreme Court Justice González. As an EJW Fellow, Javiera will advocate on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant children in Eastern Washington to improve their access to legal services, by building a network of legal services providers who will provide direct representation, education, and community outreach.
Melody joined KIND in January of 2016 and served as the Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney for KIND’s Seattle office. In October 2019, she was promoted to Senior Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney for KIND’s Seattle office and supervises the pro bono mentorship program and staff attorney(s). She continues to connect released and detained unaccompanied minors with pro bono attorneys for legal representation. She also provides mentorship to pro bono attorneys in their legal cases with KIND. Melody graduated from the University of Washington School of Law with a J.D. and an LL.M. in Sustainable International Development. She was awarded the Jack McDonald Merit Award at the UW School of Law, recognizing her commitment to public service. During law school, Melody co-founded the Immigrant Application Assistance Project (“App Help”) with Erin Apte in partnership with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. The student-led pro bono project connected pro se detainees with volunteer legal assistance. She continues her work in immigrant advocacy with unaccompanied minors and assists them in accessing justice and navigating cross-systems.