Helping L.A's Immigrant Community
Eduardo Balderas ‘18 is focused on giving back to the immigrant community. The son of Mexican immigrants, he was born in Los Angeles and grew up in a working-class family in Downtown and South Los Angeles. With hard work, he became the first person in his family to attain a bachelor’s degree, majoring in Chicano Studies and minoring in Gender Studies, Education, and Labor & Workplace studies. With that solid foundation, Eduardo decided the next step was to attend Law School.
That’s when he found Loyola’s Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
“Immigration has always been a part of who I am. The clinic provided me with the tools to better listen, work with, and understand the stories of immigrants who came to this country for a better life for them and their children,” says Balderas, the inaugural recipient of Loyola's Steven Espinoza Family Scholarship.
Eduardo already has been actively preparing U visa applications for the immigrant community in East LA served by the clinic, gaining valuable experience that will help him be practice-ready.
“Every experience I’ve had at Loyola has led me to the moment where I can put my skills in action. It’s an amazing feeling to know that at Loyola, I’ve gained the skills I need to help others,” shares Balderas. “The clinic allows students to have a lot of hands on experience with clients and the instructors are some of the best in the field. Immigration is a hot topic in today’s America. It is important to step up and fight for the rights of people that make up all of our communities.”
Now in his final year of law school, Eduardo is looking toward the future.
“Because of the clinic, I have come to learn that people’s lives literally depend on how much work and attention I put into their cases. As a future lawyer, I will always put the needs of my clients first. I hope I can be an example and an inspiration to others who want to jump in and make a difference.”