Staff Highlight: Agnieszka Grochowska of Bridge to Wellness
Oct 10, 2019
NSC’s services aim to address these challenges and to level the playing field.
In order to highlight the vital work, energy, and perspective that our staff bring to NSC, communications staff interviewed current staff members to showcase various programs. Read below for a Q and A with Agnieszka Grochowska, an attorney serving immigrant victims' of crime through NSC's Bridge to Wellness program.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I attended Drexel University for both my undergraduate studies and law school. I am licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I have worked as an attorney for eight years now practicing primarily immigration law. I immigrated to the United States at the age of seven. In my free time, I enjoy learning foreign languages.
How did you become involved with the Nationalities Service Center?
I became aware of Nationalities Service Center during a Public Interest Job Fair while still in law school. I went on to intern at NSC during my final year of law school and subsequently completed a public interest fellowship at NSC after graduation. My interest in immigration law and passion for working with the immigrant community was sparked by this initial experience with NSC. After several years in private practice, I was excited to come back to NSC in the role of staff attorney.
What do you do in your role as an Attorney for immigrant victims of crime?
In my role as staff attorney, I screen victims of crime for any available immigration remedies and advise the victim about their options and rights. This may include, for example, advising an undocumented victim about ways to obtain legal status or advising a conditional permanent resident about ways to maintain their residency. If immigration relief is available, I work closely with the victim to build and present their case. This work involves preparing written statements, gathering information, identifying helpful documents, assistance in obtaining relevant records, and representation at interviews or court hearings.
What is the Bridge to Wellness program at NSC?
Bridge to Wellness offers comprehensive, multilingual, trauma-informed and culturally-responsive services for immigrant survivors of crime including immigration legal services and case management. Our goal is to provide support, a path for healing, and to empower the communities we serve.
What other services can your clients receive at NSC?
Clients may participate in NSC wellness activities (including massage, yoga, and acupuncture) as well as NSC events. Based upon need and eligibility, Clients may also be referred to other NSC programs such as health access or employment readiness.
What is the most fulfilling part of your role?
The most fulfilling part of my role is seeing Clients achieve stability and self-sufficiency for themselves and their families and knowing that the services and support they received from NSC were key in their journey.
What do you want folks to know more about NSC--the work we do, the clients we serve, and immigration and refugee services in general?
I would like for others to remember that immigrating to a new country, leaving everything you have known and your friends and family behind, is an extremely difficult experience especially when you are forced to immigrate due to poverty and/or violence. Once in the United States, our clients face many challenges including lack of language skills, unfamiliarity with systems and resources, effects of trauma, and, at times, lack of legal status. NSC’s services aim to address these challenges and to level the playing field.