HOPE Summer Fellows 2021

minerva acevedoMinerva Santiago Acevedo (Class of 2022) graduated from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in International Relations and English Writing and Communication. She was a member of the Political Science Student Association and the UNICEF UPRM Chapter, and was a writer for Her Campus. She served as a US Congressional intern in Washington, DC through the Cordova and Fernos Internship Program. She is also a certified private mediator. At Miami Law, Minerva received a CALI award for Legal Writing and Communication and participated in the Immigration Clinic. She served as a staff editor with the Inter-American Law Review, where she is serving as an Articles and Comments Editor during her 3L year. She also worked as a research assistant for Professor Jessica Owley. During the summer of 2021, Minerva served as a HOPE Fellow with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program.

 

raegan burkeRaegan Burke (Class of 2023) graduated from the University of Oregon in June 2020 with a B.S. in Media Studies and a minor in Legal Studies. She participated in the Inside-Out Program, taking a Restorative Justice Class inside the Oregon State Penitentiary. She also volunteered with Womenspace, a domestic violence shelter, where she provided trauma-informed services to children of domestic violence. Raegan wrote her senior thesis on media coverage of the death penalty in the United States. During her 1L summer at Miami Law, Raegan served as a HOPE Fellow with the Capital Appeals Project, a non-profit law organization that provides legal services to people on death row in Louisiana.

 

alex cinneyAlexandria Cinney (Class of 2022) graduated from Tufts University in May 2018 with a B.A. in Child Study and Human Development. From 2015-2018, she served as a research assistant for the Adoption and Development Project. In 2018, she interned in the Intensive Foster Care Unit at the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Alex then served as a Staff Advocate for the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program in Miami, where she managed a caseload of up to forty dependent children. She continues to volunteer with GAL as a Miami Law student. Alex is a Miami Public Interest Scholar. As a 1L, she participated in a Legal Services of Greater Miami (LSGMI) volunteer service trip to the Florida Keys. During her 1L summer, she worked as a law clerk in LSGMI’s Health and Income Maintenance Unit, focusing on reemployment assistance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked as research assistant for Professor Scott Rogers in the area of mindfulness. As a 2L, Alex served as a legal writing dean’s fellow, president of the Child Advocacy and Family Law Society, and a legal intern for the Children & Youth Law Clinic. She also began working as a research assistant for HOPE’s Family Law & Animals pro bono project. During her 2L summer, she served as a HOPE Fellow with the ABA Center on Children and the Law’s Parent Representation Project.

 

marianne eisenhartMarianne Eisenhart (Class of 2022) graduated from Florida International University with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. While attending FIU, Marianne spent two years working for Team PBS in the field of applied behavior analysis, providing one-on-one therapy for children with autism who were either on Medicaid or in foster care. After graduation, Marianne spent two years with Rodriguez Architects, Inc., a Coral Gables architecture firm which specializes in K-8 educational facilities. As a 2L at Miami Law, Marianne served as an intern and fellow for the Children & Youth Law Clinic where she, alongside other students, succeeded in multiple administrative appeals, securing benefits for and protecting the rights of children and young adults in the child welfare system. As a 3L, Marianne is serving as secretary for the Children and Family Law Society and competing as a member of the International Moot Court Team. During the summer of 2021, Marianne served as a HOPE Fellow with the National Association of Counsel for Children, where she worked on policy surrounding child welfare.

 

bianca ferreiraBianca Ferreira (Class of 2022) graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida in May 2019 with a B.A. in History and Political Science and a minor in Florida Teaching. She conducted research for the university on behalf of the Department of History and took part in the History Department’s Honors Program. She was one of a small group of students selected to write and publish an undergraduate thesis in Medieval History. In the spring of 2018, Bianca was a classroom assistant at a middle school in Gainesville, where she tutored students in civics and history. The following summer, Bianca interned for a law firm in Ft. Lauderdale, where she managed case files, observed client-attorney meetings prior to trial, and facilitated translations from Portuguese to English. Bianca is a Miami Public Interest Scholar. As a 1L, she was a member of the Immigration Students Law Association and the Alternative Spring Break Trip Planning Committee and participated in the Wage Theft Advocacy Project. During her 1L summer, she engaged in immigration advocacy with Catholic Legal Services, was a Dean’s Fellow for the Miami Law Summer Legal Academy, and worked as a faculty research assistant. During the summer of 2021, she served as a HOPE Fellow with Legal Services of Greater Miami in the Tenants’ Rights Project.

 

hui huangHui Huang (Class of 2022) graduated from the University of Miami in May 2018 with a B.S.C. in Electronic Media and Theater Arts. During her 1L summer at Miami Law, Hui worked as a legal intern at Keene Consulting in Washington, DC. As a 2L, she clerked for the Honorable Robert T. Watson and participated in the Immigration Clinic. Hui is president of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, the vice president of the Honor Council, and an executive editor of the International and Comparative Law Review. During the summer of 2021, she served as a HOPE Fellow with the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Florida.

 

 

stevi leavittStevi Jo Leavitt (Class of 2023) graduated cum laude from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science with a concentration in Criminal Law. She graduated with Portfolio Honors and Distinction, Psychology Honors, and received the Prize for the Best Student Concentrating in Criminal Law. Following graduation, Stevi started a business providing behavioral services to special needs children in San Jose, CA. As a 1L at Miami Law, Stevi volunteered with the Fines & Fees Justice Center, working to eliminate fines and fees in the criminal justice system that distort justice; the Miami Alliance Against Human Trafficking Student Organization, working to identify and secure pro bono partnerships and provide legal services to human trafficking survivors; and the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, & Health Laboratory, analyzing environmental justice bills to establish state-level environmental justice legislation. Stevi is vice president of the Miami Alliance Against Human Trafficking, treasurer of the Insightful Mind Initiative, and a member of the Public Interest Leadership Board and the Society of Bar & Gavel. During the summer of 2021, Stevi served as a HOPE Fellow with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Intergovernmental Affairs Policy Team in Washington DC, where she reviewed, implemented, and responded to inquiries relating to HHS initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act, COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout, and Unaccompanied Minors at the US/Mexico Border.

emma mcevoyEmma McEvoy (Class of 2022) graduated with a B.S. in Political Science & Sociology from the University of Leuven in Belgium in 2014 and received an Erasmus Exchange B.A. in International Relations from Sciences Po in Paris in 2013. She served as a Political and Economic Section Trainee with the Belgian Embassy to the US. She received an M.S. in Refugee Studies from London South Bank University in 2016, and worked as a Program Trainee for the Belgian Development Agency. Later that year, she served as a Cabinet of the President Trainee for the European Committee of the Regions, where she wrote speeches and background briefings on E.U. policy topics and presented on youth unemployment in the E.U. at the 7th European Summit of Regions and Cities in Bratislava. From 2016-2018, she served in the Peace Corps as a Community Services Advisor in Lesotho, Africa where she assisted Paray Mission Hospital in the remote town of Thaba-Tseka, focusing on the prevention and mitigation of HIV/AIDS among in-school and out-of-school youth through the strengthening of youth-friendly health services at the hospital, and the provision of health education and services to harder-to-reach mountain communities. At Miami Law, Emma is a Miami Public Interest Scholar. She participates in the Guardian Ad Litem program and the Wage Theft Advocacy Project, and volunteers with the Community Justice Project in the area of Housing Law. She has worked with the Fines and Fees Justice Center, the Miami-Dade Public Defender Voter Rights Restoration, and the Alternative Spring Break Planning Committee. During her 1L summer, Emma worked with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, serving as a Student Attorney in the Family Law department. As a 2L, Emma was an intern with the Innocence Clinic, researched community response alternatives to mental health interventions by police for former Miami-Dade Public Defender Bennett Brummer, and served as president of the National Lawyers Guild. During the summer of 2021, Emma served as a HOPE Fellow with the Public Defender Agency in Kenai, Alaska.

 

stephanie mckennaStephanie McKenna (Class of 2022) graduated from the University of Miami in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and Criminology. She performed research in the areas of Administrative Law and Criminal Justice Reform, and interned with the Juvenile Division of the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. As a 1L at Miami Law, Stephanie participated in an Alternative Winter Break Program with Catholic Legal Services in Miami, where she assisted with political asylum claims. As a 2L, she participated in Street Law, the Litigation Skills Program, and the Death Penalty Litigation Practicum, and worked as an extern in the Capital Habeas Unit at the Federal Public Defender’s Office. During the summer of 2021, Stephanie served as a HOPE Fellow in the Trial Unit of the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.

 

victor on-sangVictor On-Sang (Class of 2023) graduated summa cum laude from Florida International University with a B.A in Sociology. He served as an intern with The Labor Center, where he worked alongside We Count!, researching the working conditions of plant nursery workers in Homestead. Prior to law school, he served as an elementary school math tutor and a social studies teacher at a school for at-risk youth. At Miami Law, he is president of the law school’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and vice president of the Mental Health Collective. As a 2L, he is participating in the Health Rights Clinic. During the summer of 2021, Victor served as a CJP/HOPE Fellow with The Community Justice Project, where he participated in coalition-building with movement lawyers across the country and worked with local social justice organization to tackle housing disparities, racial injustice, and other issues affecting marginalized communities.
 

ashlet plotkinAshley Plotkin (Class of 2022) graduated from the University of Miami in 2019 with degrees in Political Science and Economics. At Miami Law, she participates in HOPE’s Public Interest Network (PIN) as a PIN Pal, providing advice to 1L students about public interest opportunities. During her 1L summer, Ashley served as a HOPE Fellow with Bet Tzedek Legal Services based in Los Angeles, CA. She continued working there as an extern during the fall of her 2L year. As part of the Impact Litigation Team, she developed her passion for public interest law by serving local tenants and consumers. During the summer of 2021, Ashley served as a HOPE Fellow with the UCLA Voting Rights Project, focusing on local and federal voting policy.
 

 

sam sachsSam Sachs (Class of 2022) graduated from Wilmington University in 2013 with a B.S. in Sports Management and a minor in Political Science. He was a member of the Division II golf team, served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and was selected as the 2013 commencement speaker. Following graduation, Sam began working for the YMCA of Delaware and directed youth leadership programs to increase teen civic engagement across the state. During his time with the YMCA, Sam developed a passion for advocating for underserved communities and attended law school to further cultivate his advocacy skills. During his 1L summer at Miami Law, Sam served as a HOPE Summer Public Interest Fellow with Legal Services of Greater Miami (LSGMI) in the Tenants’ Rights unit. As a 2L, he served as an extern at LSGMI and was awarded the Pottinger Carter Fellowship to continue his work there. He has assisted Miami residents with their housing issues and successfully represented clients in Section 8 and Public Housing hearings. During the summer of 2021, Sam expanded his work at LSGMI as a HOPE Fellow and developed trainings and clinics to help educate Section 8 and Public Housing tenants and applicants of their rights.
 

ashley vazquezAshley Vazquez (Class of 2022) graduated from the University of Southern California in 2018 with a B.A. in Print and Digital Journalism and a minor in International Relations. Prior to law school, she was a journalist, community organizer and communications strategist for political organizations and nonprofits. She is a Miami Public Interest Scholar. As a 1L, she volunteered with the ACLU of Florida, processing intake from people incarcerated in Florida’s prisons. During her 2L summer, she interned with Everglades Law Center, where she worked on litigation concerning Florida's wetlands and research surrounding Miami’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to sea level rise. She also volunteered with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Fines and Fees Project. As a 2L, she joined the Public Interest Leadership Board and participated in the Environmental Justice Clinic, where she worked on civil rights litigation. She then founded the Environmental Justice Network to expand opportunities for law students to work hand-in-hand with students in other disciplines to address the critical needs of communities subject to environmental racism. As a 3L, she is serving as a fellow with the Environmental Justice Clinic, social media chair for the South/West Asian and North African Law Students Association, and president of the Environmental Justice Network. During the summer of 2021, she served as a HOPE Fellow and Honors Program Clerk for the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of General Counsel’s Civil Rights and Finance Law Office.
 

taylor weathersTaylor Weathers (Class of 2023) graduated from Florida State University in 2020 with a major in Economics and International Affairs and a concentration in Public Administration. She served as an intern with the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, where she provided services and advocacy for refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking. As a 1L at Miami Law, she translated documents for Spanish-speaking clients of the law school's Immigration Clinic. During the summer of 2021, Taylor served as a HOPE Fellow with Al Otro Lado based in Los Angeles, CA, where she assisted detainees at the US/Mexico border with their asylum claims and family reunification.
 

Manne HOPE Summer Fellows 2021

The goal of the Bob and Grace Manne Family Foundation is to work with groups, such as Miami Law’s HOPE Fellows Program, that assist in providing crucial legal services to the underserved and underrepresented members of the South Florida community.

mary millerMary Miller (Class of 2022) graduated cum laude from the University of Florida in 2019 with a B.A. in International Studies and minors in Spanish and Anthropology. During her 1L summer at Miami Law, she served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Migna Sanchez-Llorens with the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. As a 2L, she worked on the Right to Food Team within Miami Law’s Human Rights Clinic, where she advocated for the human right to food and other related rights, both globally and in the United States. Mary serves as secretary of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. During the summer of 2021, she served as a Manne HOPE Fellow with Disability Independence Group in Miami, a resource center for persons with disabilities, their families, lawyers, and other professionals regarding the rights of disabled individuals in the legal system, the education system, and employment.

 

lesly pourcelyLesly Pourcely (Class of 2022) graduated from Florida International University in April 2019 with a degree in Criminal Justice. During his time there, he participated in Dr. Regina B. Shearn’s Corrections Transition Program, where he assisted inmates in their transition back to society through workshops on interviewing skills, computer skills, and leadership and accountability skills. Lesly is a veteran of the US Army, where he was awarded the Parachutist Badge, Army Commendation Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. During his 1L summer at Miami Law, he interned with the Office of the Miami-Dade Public Defender. During the summer of 2021, he served as a Manne HOPE Fellow with Legal Services of Greater Miami in the Tenants’ Rights Unit.


Squire Patton Boggs Foundation 2021 Sustained Impact Fellows

The Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Fellowship Program awards fellowships to exceptional first- and second-year law students who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to public service and a developed interest in public policy. These law students commit their summers to advancing public policy issues through non-profit institutions, government agencies and domestic or international organizations.

Racial Justice Sustained Impact Fellow

laura silvaLaura B. Silva (Class of 2022) graduated from Florida International University in 2019 with a B.B.A in International Business and a Certificate in Public Policy Studies. During her 1L summer at Miami Law, Laura served as a HOPE Fellow with Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, based in Washington, DC, where she drafted motions for detained, unaccompanied children affected by the Migrant Protection Protocols. Her work centered on asylum and special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) claims for juveniles escaping Northern Triangle gang persecution. As a 2L, she interned with the Florida Justice Institute, challenging excessive solitary confinement and denial of medical treatment in the Florida Prison system. She also worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights, researching and drafting sections of an immigration report highlighting the pervasive nature of confinement to better inform policymakers, advocates, and judges on the excessive use of immigration detention. As a National Policy Research Assistant to the ABA's Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice (COREJ), Laura conducted legislative research, identifying, and analyzing bills introduced nationwide that would affect the school to prison pipeline. As a Death Penalty Practicum Intern, she researched the status of death penalty cases in the State of Florida available for resentencing post-Hurst. As a 3L, she is participating in the Human Rights Clinic. During the summer of 2021, Laura served as a Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Fellow with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law's Criminal Justice Project. Her work focused on the criminalization of poverty that results in a cycle of incarceration, disproportionally affecting persons of color, and police use of force. 

Puerto Rico Sustained Impact Fellow

daniela torresDaniela Torres (Class of 2023) graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Florida in May 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Leadership Studies and General Business Administration. She was a National Hispanic Scholar and a USF Presidential Scholarship Recipient. She served as a junior board member with the Migrants Rights Foundation, a volunteer with the Venezuela Awareness Project, and a cultural ambassador with Tampa Hispanic Heritage. She traveled to Colombia to assist with the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis and mentored youth from diverse backgrounds as part of Community Tampa Bay, an organization whose mission is to address discrimination in the Tampa area. From 2017-2018, Daniela worked as an intern with a law firm in St. Petersburg, assisting with depositions, hearings and file management. In 2019, she joined Migrants Foundation, Inc., an immigration advocacy organization in Tampa. As Program Development Manager, she assisted with case management and participated in the creation of new programming.Daniela is a Miami Public Interest Scholar. As a 2L, she is participating in the Immigration Clinic. During the summer of 2021, she served as a Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Hurricane Maria Disaster Relief Sustained Impact Fellow, working on post-Hurricane Maria recovery issues in Puerto Rico.