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Congratulations to Pathways' new DOJ-accredited legal representative, Alyssa!

"I’ve learned how resilient the bonds of family are. I’ve learned about the selflessness of parents and children who tirelessly work to provide for their loved ones. I’ve learned how the fear of uncertainty of status can hurt a generation. I’ve seen how the protection and opportunities of status can help a generation... I’ve learned about the power of love.”


Alyssa's letter to potential legal interns...


Dear Prospective Intern,


Before you decide the Pathways legal internship program is right for you, I want you to hear my story of growth at Pathways to Citizenship. My name is Alyssa and I am the volunteer

coordinator and intern site supervisor at Pathways, where just a few years ago I was one of the first legal interns.


As a senior at CalState San Marcos, I needed an internship related to my Political Science

major. I was certain of what I didn’t want to do: work on a political campaign for a politician I

didn’t support 100% or spend a semester making coffee runs and stapling packets at a large

law firm. I was left with few options for legal/political internships that aligned with my values.


I wanted to use my knowledge of our political and legal systems to help the everyday person

directly and had almost believed this goal to be impossible until I saw a listing for a tiny

immigration law nonprofit in Solana Beach.


Since coming to Pathways, I have learned a lot about the U.S. government and current

immigration policy. Though legal knowledge is imperative to efficient legal representation, I have also learned in other more important areas. I’ve learned how resilient the bonds of family are.


I’ve learned about the selflessness of parents and children who tirelessly work to provide for

their loved ones. I’ve learned how the fear of uncertainty of status can hurt a generation. I’ve

seen how the protection and opportunities of status can help a generation. I’ve learned about

the power of love.


Every day at Pathways I am surrounded by peaceful and hopeful love, from our clients, who

fight every day to make a better life for themselves and their families to the staff who dedicate

so much of their time to supporting others on their journeys. I see this love in the volunteers who assist us in so many ways, in our board members who strategize ways we can grow to help even more people. It is hard to put into words how much this organization has changed my life, and I know I’m not the only person who feels this way.


It is impossible to share everything I have learned about Pathways and its purpose in one letter, but I think it is important for you to know the following:


Pathways to Citizenship is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping our immigrant

communities navigate the complex legal and cultural challenges to citizenship and protected

status in the United States. Its vision is to become the most trusted and qualified provider of

legal and educational services for our immigrant neighbors in San Diego. We execute our

mission by building genuine trust-filled relationships with the people we serve. Our passion for

this work and the people we help goes deeper than just a job; we hope every person that

obtains the immigration benefit they seek has the stability and freedom to build a vibrant life for themselves and their families. We seek to change the path for future generations by being the legal resource people need to overcome the many procedural challenges.


While we take our job and our mission very seriously, we have a lot of fun fulfilling it! Our staff is like family, and we welcome all of our volunteers and clients into our chaos with love and acceptance. We understand this may be the first time you are working in an office or handling government paperwork, and we are excited to provide any guidance you may need. This office will always be a safe place to learn and grow.


That said, we cannot sacrifice the quality of our legal representation. If you are ever confused, ask. Never rush to complete a project. Review. Review. Review. The documents we handle are sensitive, be mindful. Read the provided training materials. Watch the required training videos. Prepare for the tasks you will face before they are assigned. We want you to learn and to have fun, but the services we provide will decide a person’s future. Handle with care.


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