I am happy to introduce to you one of our wonderful volunteers, Nikki Ledgerwood. Nikki has been volunteering for over a year as an immigration paralegal with Victim Justice Staff Attorney Aimee Heitz and Immigration Staff Paralegal Noemi Gallegos. Nikki came to the Clinic in the middle of her Paralegal studies program at IUPUI, a program she hopes to complete next spring 2015. Nikki initially got involved with us at the Clinic because she wanted to get more experience in the legal world and over time has continued to volunteer because she loves giving back to her community. “It’s so rewarding to give back and feels great to help others.”
Nikki has a big heart. She’s been working in the mental health field for 18 years as a case manager and counselor. Nikki’s parents, her father a public defender and her mother a psyche nurse, have been particularly influential in Nikki’s life and her passion for social justice. While she is currently in a paralegal studies program and volunteering with the Clinic, Nikki continues to do work in the mental health field.
In her job and her volunteerism Nikki has had the opportunity to see the multiple sides of trauma people suffer. Nikki feels that her passion lies in helping individuals transform their lives after the pain they may have experienced in their past, whether it be as a counselor or an immigration paralegal. “At the Clinic I get to meet courageous clients who have been through so much in their lives and their stories give me courage and hope.”
When asked what social justice means to her, Nikki states, “It means making sure everyone, everyone, has equal rights and access to the legal and justice system.” We at the Clinic couldn’t agree more.
In her free time Nikki hangs out with the many pets she has rescued, loves doing yoga and looks forward to running the Zombie run in June. We are happy to report that Nikki will be spending even more time with us this summer in her position as an immigration paralegal intern. Nikki, thanks for your big heart and gentle spirit. We love having you as part of our volunteer team.