Rizio Lipinsky is honored to announce that Gabriella Cohen-Herrera has been awarded our first-ever $10,000 Law School Scholarship. Gabriella entered UCLA as a first-year law student this August after graduating from UC Berkeley.
Suffice it to say, Gabriella’s scholarship essay was powerful. Drawing from her own experience of being a child erroneously placed in foster care along with her siblings, Gabriella shared how she learned to become an advocate for herself and her siblings. Ultimately, she convinced the judge to return her and her siblings to the loving care of their mother. Recognizing the power of advocacy, Gabriella has since made it her goal to devote her career to helping other families the way she was able to help her own.
Gabriella has put her strengths and her passion to use to help countless others. She has worked with immigrant families and unaccompanied youth seeking asylum, she has volunteered for children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, and she has volunteered for children with disabilities, all of which have given her insight into how to best fight for families and for children’s rights with empathy and conviction. Gabriella says, “I plan to further advocate against immigrant family separation at the border and against sibling separation in foster homes. I will join the Advocates for Children and Teens at UCLA Law because I want nothing more than to help vulnerable children succeed by making sure they are not left behind the child welfare system.”
Gabriella is also passionate about supporting and empowering women (daughters and young mothers) in patriarchal oppressive communities because of her own experience of prevailing over patriarchal oppression. “This archaic philosophy of how girls should be raised and what their roles should become in the world has served to motivate me to become an attorney. I feel a deep connection to my cultural roots and am driven by a familial propensity to help amplify the voices of systematically oppressed and underrepresented groups.” Gabriella has demonstrated her commitment to this objective through working as an immigration legal assistant, an intern for attorneys representing unaccompanied migrant youth, and as an English-as-a-Second Language tutor. She has also mentored college students, focusing on Latina immigrant women and girls, by sharing her knowledge about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the higher education process.
At UCLA, Gabriella has plans to be as involved as possible in organizations and associations close to her heart. She intends to join Womyn of Color Collective, La Raza Law Student Association, and Law Women of UCLA. She also hopes to write for the Women’s Law Journal and to devote time to clinical and experiential programs at UCLA including the Youth and Justice Clinic and the Immigration Clinic: Violence Against Women Act & U-Visa Project.
Our entire team at Rizio Lipinsky is thankful for the opportunity to help support Gabriella’s dreams of becoming an attorney. We’ve only just begun to get to know her, and we can’t wait to follow her progress and watch her achieve all of her goals as she pursues a career fearlessly advocating for others.