NHI student features George Rodriguez for Storytellers Without Borders
A National Hispanic Institute student has featured one of the organization’s most involved Dallas-area leaders, George Rodriguez, as part of the Storytellers Without Borders project.
Damiana De La Paz, a 9th grader at Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet Townview, wrote about Rodriguez, who is an alumni of the school and has since gone on to found an immigration law firm serving people throughout North Texas.
De La Paz wrote the story for Storytellers Without Borders, which according to the site, is a Dallas Public Library initiative, in collaboration with the Dallas Morning News, which transforms high school students into community journalists using 21st century library resources.
In the article, De La Paz focused on Rodriguez’s journey from a JBS student drawn to learn about law to a lawyer committed to a community of people seeking citizenship and greater participation in American life. Rodriguez’s parents came from Cuba to the United States when his mother was seven months pregnant, and that lived experience helped him focus his career on helping immigrants.
NHI also helped him develop the public speaking and critical thinking skills that he now utilizes as a lawyer. NHI even introduced him to his wife, Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez; they met at an LDZ program, and now run their immigration law firm together. (The firm even became part of the current national discussion on immigration earlier this year, helping travelers trying to enter the U.S. during the first hours of President Trump’s travel ban against those coming from seven Muslim-majority nations.
“It is very satisfying when you get to keep a family together here,” Rodriguez told De La Paz for the article. “Especially when you are fighting for someone who might have come here at a very early age who has basically grown up in the United States and feels more of an American than they do their birth country.”
Rodriguez is preparing for a busy summer of NHI programs. As a member of the Board of Trustees and serving of counsel to the Board, he’s involved in NHI’s mission of providing leadership education to top-performing Latino high school students from across the United States and around the Western Hemisphere. As the Project Administrator for NHI@GreaterDallas, he’s helping Dallas NHIers prepare for next month’s Texas Great Debate at Austin College. And as Educational Director for the Texas LDZ, he’s gearing up for one of NHI’s flagship events, hosted by the University of Texas at Austin this coming July.