I knew I always wanted to work with immigrants because I had gone to high school overseas and I knew what it was like to be in a foreign country. When we came back to Iowa I went around to the agencies that work with immigrants and asked if they could use me. I ended up at the American Friends Service Committee and what they needed was someone to help fill out paperwork. I didn’t even know it was legal, all I knew was people kept coming in with these forms and they needed help.
When we found out that Seth had autism at that point there was this choice of do I quit this job altogether and devote everything to getting all the right treatments and we knew we wanted to try ABA, applied behavior analysis, and we knew it was really expensive, so I didn’t quit my job. After about four or five years and it was clear that ABA wasn’t going to recover him it was like do we take a new direction, do I quit job. And then I decided that I wanted to go to law school.
I graduated from the University of Iowa with my bachelor’s degree in 1988 and twenty years later in 2008 I went to law school at Drake. I applied to several law schools but we live in the Drake neighborhood and we owned our home. Drake was nice enough to offer me a really good scholarship so it just made perfect sense to come to Drake.
I didn’t know if I was going to keep doing immigration but once I got to law school I realized I didn’t like any other kind of law! I got a job out of law school with a big firm downtown that everyone in law school had wanted and I hated every second of it. Even though I was working with immigrants, the atmosphere was not right for me. Then a job came open at Justice For Our Neighbors.