Lina Ruth Duiker
Lina Ruth Duiker graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University in 2018 with a double major in Philosophy and Spanish, and a double minor in Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies. In 2017 she went to Nicaragua to conduct surveys and write her honors thesis: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Perceptions of Sexual Consent in Nicaragua and the United States. After graduating, Lina served as an AmeriCorps Legal Advocate at Greater Boston Legal Services in the Welfare Law Unit. Lina worked to help clients who had problems with their Food Stamp, TAFDC (Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children), and EAEDC (Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children) benefits. She volunteered with two domestic violence shelters, a mobile food market, and a soup kitchen while in Boston. She is interested in the intersections of Sexual and Domestic violence and Immigration Law.
Brandon Miller graduated from the University of Virginia in 2004 with a BA in English and African-American Studies. He has lived and worked in Philadelphia for the past 15 years, where he has taught English, math, and many other subjects to high school students in the School District of Philadelphia. In that time, he also completed a MS in Secondary Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, both from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his work in public schools, he helps novice teachers prepare to influence young people as an instructor in the Teacher Education program at the University of Pennsylvania; he has served on the Board for the non-profit organization, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook for over 7 years, and he stays actively involved in his community through his involvement with several local civic organizations. His pursuit of a JD has come out of the experiences with students in the classroom and seeing first-hand the effects of policy and law on youth in Philadelphia – from family court issues, to social service policies, to interaction with the juvenile criminal court system. He is interested is juvenile justice reform, direct juvenile legal advocacy, and education reform in general.
Ari Schoenburg graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a B.A. in History and a minor in Philosophy. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked for three years at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project, a legal services agency in New York City. At the Mental Health Project, Ari worked as an intake coordinator and legal advocate, representing clients in their appeals for Social Security Disability benefits. Ari is passionate about civil legal services, mental health law, and providing holistic direct services to individuals living with mental health conditions.
Maria Thomson is a dual JD/MSW candidate with interests in community organizing, anti-racism, and transformative justice. She graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College in Sociology & Anthropology and Francophone Studies. Prior to starting law school, Maria lived and worked at Annunciation House, a shelter in El Paso, TX, where she advocated for recently-arrived migrants and supported the development of systems to facilitate migrants’ humanitarian release from detention. In the Philadelphia region, she worked as a domestic violence counselor with immigrant women and as a DOJ Accredited Representative supporting migrants’ U-Visa, VAWA, and naturalization claims. Maria is also involved in local community organizing efforts around mass liberation, sex workers’ rights, and reproductive justice. She is interested in models of holistic, trauma-informed, and community-based lawyering that build grassroots power and support healing. In her free time, Maria is an avid cyclist, reader, and maker.