Oasis Legal Services is hosting a free Asylum Law Training on Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 9am to 12pm. The training will cover the basics of Asylum Law, how to represent clients in affirmative asylum interviews, and include a discussion with licensed psychotherapist Grace Pacheco, M.A., MFT, regarding the use of psychological evaluations in asylum cases. We would love for you to join us.
Oasis Legal Services proudly provides quality legal immigration services to under-represented low-income groups with a focus on LGBTQIA+ communities. We provide comprehensive legal services to assist LGBTQIA+ immigrants, including screening for immigration relief, affirmative asylum, residency, citizenship, and family petitions.
We are building our Pro Bono Attorney Program and will have information at the training about how you can participate."
It was a pleasure to speak at Making Waves Academy in Richmond, California to an AP Psychology class and participate in a round-table discussion, with high school students considering a career in the mental health field. Students at Making Waves Academy were interested in many elements of working in the mental health field, not limited to degree type, cost, income after graduation, working with clients, and more.
I knew I had to bring my A game because the day before my visit, I received this list of questions from the students in the AP Psychology class. Kids that come from the struggle don't want nor need any sugar-coating, and can read people like a book. I had to give it to them straight, because, well...I used to be that kid.
1. How much money do you [or people in your profession, on average] make? Is it enough to support living in the Bay Area?
2. Do you recommend getting a master’s degree?
3. What do you like most about your job?
4. Have you ever had a patient you didn’t really know how to help?
5. How long did it take to get your license?
6. What surprised you about your job?
7. What made you want to pursue this path?
8. What is the most common reason why people visit your office?
9. Have you ever questioned your career path?
10. What do you see in society that worries you?
11. What is your day to day life like?
I shared about working in community mental health clinics, providing mental health services in Spanish, working with victims of violent crime, working alongside law enforcement and first responders, collaborating with psychiatrists and psychiatric hospital staff, submitting reports and correspondence to probation officers, and starting my own practice.
It was a pleasure to share some personal anecdotes of my beginnings, growing up in a low-income household, with family members with little to no knowledge about how to apply for college, let alone have the means to pay for it.
Looking at the many faces in the crowd that appeared worried, interested, overwhelmed, stressed, and....bored....(hey, it's high school)....I saw myself in many of them, and offered my very best words of inspiration, strategies, and hope to the student body.
I was excited to be invited by school staff to return for Career Day in March 2018, to offer up more opportunities for one-on-one conversations about the vast array of career options in the mental health field...and personal experience with navigating the many existing obstacles for low-income students of color, to getting there.
Oasis Legal Services is a new non-profit immigration firm, whos staff tirelessly works to secure a safe haven in the united states for gay, lesbian, and transgender asylum seekers, fleeing violence, torture, and hateful treatment in their countries of origin. their staff members speak fluent Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Japanese. I was initially introduced to oasis legal services through attorney Dustin Bankston, owner of Bankston Immigration Law Office in El Cerrito, California, who worked with Oasis staff members, at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, in Berkeley, California.
I had the pleasure to join this team of immigration attorneys, volunteers, language interpreters, board accredited representatives, executive board members, and other essential figures, vital in maintaining the success of this unique and cutting-edge specialty firm.
In my role as a licensed mental health clinician, i meet many of their clients, who undergo psychological evaluations, for whom i provide a formal written report, which is utilized for their immigration cases. more often than not, i uncover severe incidents of victimization, hate-based targeting, experiences of torture, severe abuse and neglect, and other paralyzingly traumatic experiences. i conduct a comprehensive screening for various mental disorders, of which the primary findings are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and other trauma-based anxiety disorders, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Oasis Legal Services held a team meeting to increase connection among their many diverse collaborators, share inspiration, plan for their exciting next steps, and champion the group for social justice. it was a pleasure to meet new team members, and reunite with some old friends.
for more information on Oasis Legal Services in Oakland, California...
Grace Pacheco, MFT speaks with high school students at Making Waves Academy in Richmond, California about career opportunities and the varying salaries in the mental health profession. A group of students received the opportunity to have a round table discussion with a licensed psychotherapist, and expressed particular concern about if salaries will be sufficient for an economically stable life in the San Francisco Bay Area.