Changing lives with a little help from our friends.  ALWAYS News: May 2015

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Changing lives with a little help from our friends

A Special Note from ALWAYS CEO & Founder, January Contreras

Dear <<First Name>>,

At ALWAYS, it’s our privilege to provide free legal services to young people impacted by homelessness, human trafficking, and abuse. As we grow and provide services to more people, we are fortunate to count on an equally expanding volunteer base. This newsletter highlights some of the pro bono attorneys and volunteers who are helping our clients find their path to stability and success. I am incredibly grateful for their contributions, and invite you to also consider how you can be a part of carrying out our mission.

Young people's lives are being changed and it shows.  One homeless youth recently explained that it felt as if the weight of her problems had been taken off her shoulders and placed on those of her attorney.  Another shared repeatedly that she and her children are safe today because of ALWAYS.

These young people may not know - but the safety and relief they feel is really because of their own courage to make their voice heard in the justice system, and because of you.  ALWAYS stands with countless supporters, volunteers, and partners in community organizations, law offices, government, and philanthropy.  ALWAYS is strong today because of you.  We're delivering on our mission to open doors for youth and we're doing it with the help of our friends.  Thank you for being a part of the ALWAYS family.  And if you’d like to know how you can do more to help the young men and women served by ALWAYS, please reach out to me directly at



Volunteer Attorney Unlocks Opportunity for Young Mom

Last December, more than thirty Arizona attorneys gained comprehensive training to serve victims of human trafficking at the University of Arizona Law School.  At the training, they pledged to provide pro bono legal services in return.  This pledge paid off for Monique*, a young mother living in a transitional housing program for homeless families in Tucson. 

Monique had a criminal record that prevented her from obtaining stable employment to support her family.  Represented by pro bono attorney Liz Carrillo at Carillo Law Firm in Tucson, Monique was able to successfully petition the court to address her prior misdemeanor convictions and begin a new chapter in her life.  A very special thanks to Liz Carillo for standing with ALWAYS and unlocking opportunity for Monique.

ALWAYS Open House Brings Community Together

A wonderful milestone this year for ALWAYS was moving into our expanded law office in Central Phoenix.  On May 6, more than 70 community and legal partners, allies, volunteers, civic leaders, and philanthropic supporters came together to show their support and celebrate with us at the Friends of ALWAYS Open House.  

Our thanks to new and old friends who joined us, and to those who sent good wishes.  A very special thank you to Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo and Fr. Dan Sullivan, of St. Francis Xavier Parish, who shared their reflections and messages of hope for the young people we represent. 

Also, we can’t forget to thank Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development for providing us a home in their offices during our early days, and to Native American Connections for welcoming us into one of their great facilities.

Andrea Has One Less Worry Tonight

Andrea* was a child when she was brought to the United States.  She was barely a teenager when she was physically and sexually abused.  Today, Andrea's abuser is in prison and, with her ALWAYS attorney at her side, her request for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and legal permanent residence as a childhood victim of abuse was approved.  We couldn’t take away the trauma Andrea suffered, but ALWAYS helped her create a stable path for her future.

We Appreciate Our Volunteer Interpreters

A very special thank you to two wonderful interpreters, Anita Huizar-Hernandez and Esperanza Silva, who volunteered their time and talent to help two ALWAYS clients who had been abused.  Their help was key to ensuring that these vulnerable children had full access to the immigration legal system.

Volunteer Esperanza Silva with ALWAYS Attorney, Marissa Florio.

Board of Directors

Founding Chairperson
Barbara Mundell, JD

Founding CEO
January Contreras

Board Members
Nancy Baldwin
Dennis K. Burke, JD
Beth Rosenberg, LCSW
Councilman Daniel Valenzuela


Copyright © 2015 Arizona Legal Women And Youth Services (ALWAYS), All rights reserved.

Our phone number is: (602) 248-7055.
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