My name is Agnieszka (Agnes) Zielinski and I am IOFA’s new legal intern. At IOFA, I will be assisting IOFA’s Program Specialist and Attorney, Sehla Ashai, representing victims of trafficking as well as researching a variety of issues in human trafficking in order to contribute to IOFA’s Building Child Welfare Response to Child Trafficking Project. I am very excited about this opportunity as it my chance to learn about the work IOFA has done to combat human trafficking as well as advocate for vulnerable youth.
Currently, I am a second year law student and Civitas ChildLaw fellow at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. My particular focus in law school is child advocacy. My passion for working with children has been a life-long one. I especially became interested child welfare and juvenile justice when I took a class entitled “Sexual Exploitation of Children” during undergrad. This class encouraged me to intern at the Public Defender’s office, teach youth at the juvenile detention center about their legal rights, and pursue a path in child advocacy.
I have only been at IOFA for a couple of weeks, but this position has reinforced my belief that child advocacy is the right path for me. As a child of Polish immigrants, this position truly unites my passion for working with vulnerable youth and my passion for working with immigrants. I hope to use my Polish language skills to reach out to the Polish and Eastern European community. This is an exciting time for me and I look forward to the next few months!