2018 2018: Stephanie Rodriguez-Ruiz: Rappaport Scholar

Stephanie Rodriguez-Ruiz at Rappaport Final Dinner
2018 2018: Stephanie Rodriguez-Ruiz: Rappaport Scholar
Stephanie Rodriguez-Ruiz: Rappaport Scholar

Stephanie Rodriguez-Ruiz, JD candidate '19 interned with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a Rappaport Scholar.

Special education advocacy

I graduated from Boston University with a BA in Management Studies. In 2014, my friend and I started a non-profit organization called Leading Ladies of Boston, a mentorship program for young girls from Boston.

School was not always a priority for me, but with the guidance of my mentors, I learned the importance of bettering myself through a quality education.

When I was a teenager, I had a mentor who was a lawyer. I was intrigued with the law and his passion for serving the public. I chose to go to UMass Law because of their public interest opportunities.

It wasn’t until I started an internship at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that it became clear to me that my law degree would be better served in the field of education.

My plan is to get into special education advocacy and pursue my knowledge through Leading Ladies as well.

2017 Rappaport Scholar

I was chosen for the 2017 Rappaport Fellowship Program and obtained the internship working within the legal department at DESE.

I was able to learn about the different aspects of education including special education, public records requests, educator licensure, and grant proposals.

Being able to utilize what I’ve learned at UMass Law to effectively research current issues and properly articulate and analyze the law for my supervisors was the most rewarding.

I am extremely fortunate to be a part of the Rappaport family. I've created and maintained meaningful relationships with the other Rappaport fellows and the wonderful Rappaport staff. There is a gratifying feeling about building relationships with people who are also interested in public interest.

UMass Law's welcoming community

As a Dean's fellow and teaching assistant at UMass Law, I've been able to meet almost every incoming student.

UMass Law's environment is very welcoming, and the size allows students to create a tight legal community. Getting to know each other is important because we will be fellow brothers and sisters at law.

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