Humor through Hardship


Forever grateful for people’s resilience

Sarah Ochieng, Xavier University

Through a competitive interview process, I was blessed enough to land an internship position at OJPC. At a very young age, I always knew that I wanted to work for an organization that was dedicated to advocating for justice. Working at OJPC has increased my understanding about the justice system. While at OJPC, I got the chance to work in the second chance clinics project, which is focused on expanding opportunities for people with criminal records.

While working on this project, I met many clients whose stories, experiences and reasons for the choices they made in their past life were both sad and inspiring. I never thought that a returning citizen could inspire and encourage me to be a better person. I loved meeting and talking to these clients, and I was struck to find how many retained their sense of humor.

The fact that even after all the hardships they have faced, they still had time to laugh and bless others with their laughter inspired me. Being in contact with these clients has impacted my growth, and it has taught me to be slow at judging people. As an international student from Kenya, working at OJPC enabled me to compare and contrast the justice systems.

This summer, I was able to see the truth and reality of the justice system from the eyes of the people who are under it. I regard the phrase, “ignorance is bliss” to be false because everything I learned at OJPC inspired me to work harder in advocating for justice. I worked hand in hand with the most amazing co-workers. I always knew that I wanted to be lawyer, but I was never sure about what kind of law I wanted to practice until I worked at OJPC. For this, I am forever grateful.

Sarah Ochieng
Xavier University