Rebecca works with unaccompanied minors who are applying for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Rebecca was previously a court-appointed family law attorney for children and parents involved in child abuse and neglect proceedings. Her background also includes two years working for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in their Austin and Edinburg, Texas offices. Beginning as an intake clerk in law school, Rebecca worked her way up to staff attorney in the organization's Family and Domestic Violence Unit. Prior to law school, Rebecca was an AmeriCorps volunteer at La Puente Home, an organization helping to end homelessness in rural southern Colorado. There, Rebecca was a case manager serving families as they transitioned out of homelessness. In her spare time, Rebecca is active in dog rescue. She and her husband have fostered over 20 dogs. They have two adorable sons, Sam and Gabe.
Michelle started at Austin Region JFON in May of 2019. Before coming to ARJFON, her service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Little Rock, Arkansas inspired her to study non-profit management at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. During that time, she began working with families and individuals experiencing housing insecurity by providing workforce training, life skills, and adult education services. When she moved to Austin she knew she wanted to continue working with individuals seeking a better life for themselves and their families. After learning about ARJFON and the work they were doing with asylee and immigrant people, she decided to join their team in providing free, high quality legal services to the Austin community. She is excited to be able to contribute positively to a community that has welcomed her, her husband, and two dogs with open arms and envisions a world in which everyone can experience the same.
Lizzie joined ARJFON on March 1, 2019, as the first executive director for the chapter. She is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and comes to this role after serving two churches for 6 years in the Rio Grande Valley along the border. She earned her B.A. in history and public policy at the College of William and Mary and earned her M. Div. at Duke University. Lizzie has served on the board for Project Transformation Rio Texas, a collaborative ministry that connects college students with meaningful internships and empowers literacy and holistic learning for school-aged children, and the board for United Methodist Campus Ministries of the Rio Grande Valley. She is excited to be back in Austin, where she did most of her growing up (Loyal Forever, Austin High!), near to her two adorable nephews and awesome niece.