Class of 2019
Sean joins the NYU law student body after three years working in direct social services as a wrap care coordinator. In this role, Sean served the ten highest need students at a Washington, DC middle school, guiding them and their families through wraparound, an intensive case management and care planning process. Using a “families know best” approach, Sean worked with a variety of DC agencies, systems and mental health providers to ensure that children and their families received appropriate interventions, made progress toward their life goals, and avoided further sanctions from school, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. Sean was first inspired to pursue a career in direct service while serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member. Working at the same school he would later serve in as a wrap care coordinator, Sean worked as a teacher’s assistant during the school day, a mentor during lunch time, and a tutor afterschool. Prior to joining City Year, Sean earned his B.A. in Political Science and Economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts. As an attorney, Sean will continue in a direct service role, working for clients who need but cannot afford representation in civil legal matters. Through this work, he will continue to fight for his country’s poorest citizens, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs are met. Sean hopes to one day take these experiences into the policy arena, advocating for a broader social safety net that is created by and responsive to the citizens it seeks to protect.
Class of 2020
Amy Joseph '20 was blessed to be raised in New York and Florida, always surrounded by diverse communities of immigrants. This spurred in her a love for languages, and she majored in Spanish and minored in Linguistics at the University of Florida as an undergraduate. She then went on to pursue a Master’s in Foreign Language Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also taught English as a Second Language night classes. Working with mostly adults of Mexican descent, she was inspired to apply for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico and learn more about her students’ culture as well as the immigration-related issues many of them faced. In Mexico, she volunteered at a migrants’ shelter as well as other organizations that worked with immigrants in Mexico City around issues of employment and housing.
Upon coming back to New York, Amy continued teaching adults but within an employment agency that worked with individuals receiving public assistance. Struck by how much her students’ civil and criminal legal issues impacted their education and employment, Amy decided to transition to the legal field as a paralegal with The Door. At The Door, Amy focuses on coordinating The Door’s coverage of the Unaccompanied Minors’ Surge docket, which is a docket composed of young people in expedited removal proceedings. She also works to connect young people in deportation proceedings with attorneys and help them pursue humanitarian relief. Amy is motivated to study law to be able to continue to work with the young people and adults that have so inspired her as they break down barriers to reach their full potential.
Class of 2021
Rev. James deBoer is excited to apply his organizing and ministry experience to the practice of law. As an organizer he launched a statewide initiative to boost voting and civic engagement among people with disabilities; mobilized support for marriage equality, in-state tuition, and ending mass incarceration; and spearheaded passage of the first rent receipt ordinance in New Jersey. He earned a Master of Divinity at Yale, where he studied how congregational dynamics facilitate organizing and social change. After graduating, he and his spouse assisted congregations in Argentina and Paraguay with a yearlong strategic planning process. He was ordained in 2014 and served as pastor of the Federated Church of Livingston, NJ for four years, where he implemented a bilingual English/Spanish Bible study and convened a clergy task force to investigate inconsistent scheduling practices in the retail sector.
From a faith-based perspective, organizing, ministry, and the law address similar questions of how human beings can live together in society with freedom and justice, how people on the margins can access pathways towards meaningful inclusion, and how all of us can identify and act on shared values across dividing lines. Based on his experience and interests, James intends to provide civil legal services in the areas of immigration or employment law after completing his JD.