Welcome Our New Staff!

In the past few months we have been joined by a number of fantastic new staff members! Meet the staff who have started with us since March 2022:

Originally from Peru, Favio received a B.A. in Audiovisual Communication at the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC), and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Digital Marketing at IE University in Spain, expecting to graduate in July 2022. Favio previously worked for more than 4 years as a Digital Communication Specialist in the Peru office of United Nations, designing and implementing digital campaigns related to human rights, gender equality, sustainable development, and climate change, among other issues on the 2030 Agenda.

Charles began volunteering as an intern at LAJC in Spring 2022, where he proved that he would make a great addition to the team. Charles is a hard-working Charlottesville resident, looking for opportunities to further assist his community. His current role is managing the reception desk and providing general assistance for his colleagues at the Charlottesville office. Charles’ goal is to continue pursuing higher education following his learning experience, here at LAJC.

Andrea joined LAJC in the spring of 2022 with experience in non-profit leadership, small business ownership, and elementary special education. Most recently, she served as Deputy Director of The Women’s Initiative. She manages LAJC’s strategic direction of administrative activities, office management, and facilities oversight. Andrea represents the agency on the Green Business Alliance, where she collaborates with a leadership circle of Virginia-based businesses that have committed to reducing their collective emissions by 45% by 2025. She is dedicated to developing an organizational culture that reflects LAJC’s commitments to racial justice and supporting an environment that is welcoming and empowering to employees and clients of all identities, communities, and experiences.

Robert joined LAJC in June 2022. He is committed to cultivating an open presence through mindfulness and direct action spanning 30 years as a union leader, international youth facilitator, foster care worker and mental health advocate. Beginning in the 80’s, Robert began his career as an advocate for people with disabilities. His experience living in Southern Africa during the apartheid regime formed a solid foundation for all his future endeavors in social justice and adult education. More recently Robert managed a family skills training and prevention program for Region Ten CSB, coalition organizing for health safety net programs and a navigator for Blue Ridge Medical Center during the roll out of the ACA. Robert lives in Charlottesville with his wife and young son.  He enjoys making art hiking and spending time in nature with his family.

Diana joined the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) in June 2022 as a paralegal for the Immigrant Advocacy Program (IAP). At the LAJC, she assists the IAP attorneys in all of the organization’s practice areas. Diana is an immigrant from Guatemala and feels a strong commitment to human rights and social justice. Diana is a 2018 George Mason University graduate where she obtained a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Immigration Studies, and a concentration in Childhood and Youth. She held multiple leadership positions in undergrad, then worked for four years at a private immigration law firm in Washington D.C. post-grad. Diana has volunteered with many non-profit organizations both in the U.S. and abroad. She has also traveled a couple of times to the U.S./Mexico border in an attempt to serve members of the refugee exodus. Diana has native fluency in written and oral Spanish. In her free time, Diana enjoys hanging out with family and friends, traveling back to her hometown, dancing, hiking, and sharing memes.

Elizabeth joined Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) in June 2022. Prior to LAJC she was a Senior Development Associate for Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), which focuses on growing leadership, influence and equity within the Latinx and BIPOC communities. Her role focused on foundation proposals and grant reporting, concept and letters of intent and funder prospecting. Previously, she spent seven plus years in development as a major gifts officer, development officer and campaign fundraiser within the Virginia Higher Education system. Elizabeth credits successes over the years to working for institutions without prestigious alumni or influential founders to remedy resource gaps. It taught her to be “scrappy,” and think out the box when seeking new donors and board members, as well as creative cultivation and solicitations.

Fanny Brisker joined the Legal Aid Justice Center as Human Resources Director in July 2022. She has over 15 years of experience in human resources and is passionate about supporting organizations through hyper-growth while building their people and culture processes. She received her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a master’s degree in Human Resources Development from McDaniel College.

Joanna graduated from law school at the University of Arizona in 2010 and has centered her legal career on humanitarian forms of immigration relief. Since 2013 she has lived in North Carolina, where she focuses on asylum law and removal defense. From 2010 to 2013, Joanna worked first as a Staff Attorney focusing on immigration cases at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and then as a pro bono coordinating attorney at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), where she helped provide access to counsel for hundreds of unaccompanied immigrant children. Before becoming a lawyer, Joanna was a public-school teacher in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and worked with undocumented Burmese immigrants in Thailand. She is licensed as an attorney in the state of New York and is fluent in Spanish. Joanna is supporting our immigration advocacy work until September 2022. 

Evan joined the Legal Aid Justice Center in 2022 as a legal assistant for the summer. Prior to LAJC, Evan worked for the D.C. Volunteer Lawyers Project. He studies government and business administration at Georgetown University, with a specialty in American law. A D.C native, Evan speaks fluent English and Spanish. Outside of work, he is an avid tennis player and a Wizards fan.

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