Meet Our Team

Our goal is to educate on the legal procedures asylum seekers face, and to raise awareness on all of the legal and communication issues that the immigrant community struggles with, and find ways to go beyond just helping them legally. 

Mariana Hernandez

Co-President

I am a senior at Sheldon High School, I love embroidery, painting, and playing the flute. After graduation, I plan to attend college, and then I will likely apply to law schools to complete my education. I currently reside in Eugene, Oregon. My parents are immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico. I watched my parents be subjected to anti-immigrant rhetoric and faced discrimination because they did not speak English well. This has inspired me to find ways to help them and the larger immigrant community. Witnessing my parents’ hardships has also made me interested in becoming an immigration attorney. My work with Justice Kids has been extremely valuable because it has provided me with the opportunity to learn about immigration law as well as directly help asylum seekers develop their asylum claims. Recently, I have been the leader of outreach at Justice Kids. I contact new people to join our group and connect them with resources, such as internships with the JK program and other programs at the UO. I love helping them explore opportunities to have experiences that will benefit them now and in the future. I also started a Peer Support Group that focuses on helping the Latinx and immigrant community members by sharing their stories, discussing social/cultural values, providing a safe space, and empowering them to become independent and strong individuals. I’m currently a board member of GLAD (Grupo Latino de Accion Directa), a program dedicated to providing a voice to the Latinx community through hosting public forums in Spanish, targeting Latinx voters with voter registration drives, holding fundraisers, and hosting community events. Through GLAD, I collaborated with the All of Us program, a wing of the National Institute of Health, to provide outreach to the Latinx community on how to better their health care information and access. I hold a 4j equity board position in my district to improve diversity, and I have created the first Women of Color Advocacy group at my school which deals with having multicultural and intersectional conversations. With these projects, I hope to make an impact in my community to promote people of color and explore communities beyond my own town by creating programs that can be implemented nationwide.

 

Linde Spear

Co-Vice President

I am a senior at South Eugene High School, a member of South’s International High School (IHS), and a part of Eugene’s French Immersion program. I speak fluent French and am currently in the process of learning Spanish as well. My long-standing interests include traveling and classical dance, while my passions lie in social justice and gender equality. I began working with JusticeKids my sophomore year of high school and am honored to serve as Co-Vice President in 2021-2022. Outside of JusticeKids, I also serve on the Women’s Advisory Council for Youth run by Ophelia’s Place in Eugene. Additionally, I am a member of South Eugene High School’s National Honors Society, President of the Eugene IHS Model United Nations club, and South Eugene High School’s Vice President for the IHS student government. I’m so excited to continue working with JusticeKids and aid in all of the empowering work that they do.

Noa Ablow

Co-President

I started volunteering for Justice Kids in her freshman year of high school.  Currently I serve as Justice Kids co-president, and I am a senior at South Eugene High School. In my current role, I support the training of other volunteers, meet with asylum applicants, and I am working to change the asylum process in Oregon. Specifically through collaboration with Researchers at Stanford University in the use of trauma science to support successful asylum cases. I am working as a research analyst at the University of Oregon Center for Equity Promotion, where I am studying the impact of social inequities on immigrant communities’ long term health in the United States. As well, I am a competitive ski racer, member of the Varsity Tennis Team,  Monroe Middle School debate club coach and have served on the 4j school board as a student representative since my sophomore year.

Alejandro McClain

Secretary

My name is Alejandro McClain. I’m 17 years old and I attend South Eugene High School. I enjoy participating in sports such as tennis, soccer, and ice hockey. My interests include reading, hanging out with my friends, and re-selling sneakers. I joined Justice Kids this year and I will be the secretary for this coming year.

Pablo Cortez

Vice President

I am an incoming senior at the University of Oregon and I am currently studying philosophy, Spanish and legal studies. I plan on assisting law school after I graduate in order to become an immigration attorney. I am originally from Medford, which is where my parents settled after emigrating from Morelia, Michoacán. My family is a  major source of my inspiration to become an immigration attorney as well as joining Justice Kids. Not only have I seen the struggles they have experienced but I have also experienced them as I have been working alongside other immigrants and Latinos my entire life in jobs such as construction, housecleaning and wildland firefighting. I want to help Latinos and immigrants alike, whether that be through legal procedures or other parts of life as well. One of my few hobbies is playing soccer and working on cars.

Mara Hindery-Glasinovic

Treasurer

My name is Mara Hindery-Glasinovic and I’m an incoming junior at South Eugene High school! I love all kinds of sports, adventures, challenges, experiences and new opportunities! Being a part of Justice kids is a challenge, but a great and necessary challenge! This opportunity gives us a chance to help those in need, and I believe our society is not doing our best in helping them. We can make a real
difference, it’s not that hard, and by being a part of this group I believe we can.

Raquel E. Hecht

Supervisor

Raquel E. Hecht has been an Immigration Lawyer in the State of Oregon since 1993. She is the founding partner of the law firm of Hecht and Norman, LLP with offices in Eugene and Salem, Oregon. Her past activities include: Vice-President of the Lane Arts Council, Board Member of the Eugene Research Institute, Chair of the International Youth Exchange Committee for Rotary and Member of the Rotary International Friendship Exchange Committee for the District, Volunteer Reader at the French Immersion School, Member of the Education and Outreach Committee of the Human Rights Commission, Member of the Eugene Police Commission, Founding member of Grupo Latino de Accion Directa (GLAD) a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of underrepresented people in the political process. She has received these acknowledgements of her work throughout the years. 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Community Leader Award in recognition of contributions to human rights and races relations. 2018 Gerald H Robinson award from the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association for Excellence in Immigration Advocacy. 2018 Andrew J. Clement Award for Exceptional Services to Persons of Limited Means by the Lane County Bar Association. 2002 Women of Distinction Award from the Soroptimist Club of Eugene.