ProBAR Children's Project Testimonials

Testimonials from Volunteers and Staff

"People dream of making a difference in this world, and here at ProBAR you are all doing it every day.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your team this summer!"

- Joanna Serrato, 2013 law student intern

Laura Rheinheimer

Laura Rheinheimer

"At ProBAR I found the work I am supposed to do.  I have grown professionally and personally and have had wonderful teachers in both my coworkers and the children we serve.  When you work at ProBAR you are more than an employee, but part of a family. ProBAR coworkers are always there to listen and provide encouragement and support during difficult cases and ready to celebrate whenever there is a triumph."

Laura Rheinheimer, ProBAR paralegal, 2009-2012, and ProBAR volunteer, 2007-2008
Laura became an Accredited Representative during her time at ProBAR, and is currently attending law school.

"Volunteering for the ProBAR Children’s Project was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had as a lawyer. I am an employment litigator and never even thought about immigration law until recently, when I started reading about undocumented children in detention. I immediately felt called to help and contacted ProBAR, who responded right away and matched me with a child seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile status. Emily Bartholomew, the ProBAR attorney, could not have been more professional and helpful in showing me what to do. She was also kind enough to translate for me because I am not fluent in Spanish! Together, we made a great team and were able to obtain the findings necessary for the child to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile status. I am very proud of the work I did with ProBAR and encourage any attorney with an interest to volunteer. Through ProBAR, you can use your legal skills to change the life of a child. Thank you, ProBAR for allowing me to be part of the amazing work you do. ¡Siempre estaré agradecida con ustedes!"

- Emily Frost, pro bono attorney

"Volunteering at ProBAR was an incredible experience. I spent a year in 2008-2009 volunteering as a paralegal in the children's office right out of college and it was one of the best decisions I've made in my life. Working in the detention centers is not an easy job---it can be very emotionally taxing and stressful. However, listening to a client get granted asylum and knowing you have made a difference in those kids' lives makes it worth every second. The kids are also very appreciative and loving which helps tremendously. 

Although I have volunteered and worked at other non-profits, ProBAR stands out among the rest. Nowhere else have I met a group of such devoted, passionate and hardworking people. Harlingen is a very geographically isolated part of the country and I think that is what makes ProBAR so special. It attracts people who are truly committed and dedicated to the mission of ProBAR. Because many people move to Harlingen specifically to work or volunteer there, it becomes a surrogate family to its workers and creates a community that is unlike anything I have experienced since. My coworkers and I didn't just work together. We celebrated each others' birthdays with barbecues, spent Saturdays at South Padre Island together and went salsa dancing on the weekends.

I look back on my experiences there fondly and I am so thankful for everything I learned there. If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience, I highly recommend volunteering at ProBAR. You won't regret it."

- Cari Holiday, volunteer paralegal through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program

 "This internship has taught me how much more powerful our clients become when we equip them with the knowledge they need to take ownership of their cases.  My internship at ProBAR has been inspirational."

- Catherine Feeley, law student intern, 2012

"Thank you for the opportunity to work on Henry's case.  I was profoundly impressed by the ProBAR team and Henry.  Moreover, I am thankful WE were able to achieve a positive outcome for a very deserving young man." 

- Robert Hamilton, Esq., pro bono attorney
Robert’s client has successfully completed the first step toward achieving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

"Before I came to ProBAR, I had no idea of the extraordinary needs of children in immigration detention.  I am so happy that I now have an understanding of what can be done to help this vulnerable population.  I hope to dedicate the rest of my career to serving unaccompanied children."

-  Kathrine Russell, Esq., ProBAR Children’s Project staff attorney, 2009-2012

"ProBAR taught me to value each detained child because whether they're five or seventeen years old, they all have a story to tell.  I felt so honored to have the opportunity to work alongside of such a humble and passionate group of paralegals and attorneys."

- Katrina Campbell, volunteer paralegal through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program