Santa Clara University

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For Kristin Love Boscia three things have been essential in successfully translating her education into a public interest law vocation: leadership, problem solving, and bringing diverse groups of people together to work for the common good.

Boscia ’03 economics and marketing, J.D. ’08, currently serves as staff attorney for Bay Area Legal Aid. She credits Santa Clara for providing opportunities to explore her interests and passions both inside and outside the classroom. “In the classroom, I had the support of professors to explore issues that grabbed my attention, which was a critical part of developing myself as an independent learner.” 

Outside the classroom, she studied women’s work opportunities in a rural community in El Salvador, thanks to a Hackworth Fellowship awarded by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. With the support of David DeCosse, director of campus ethics programs, Boscia developed her own research questions and wrote about her findings in El Salvador. “It was a wonderful way to combine my interest in social justice issues with my academic interest in economics,” she says. 

 Kristin Love Boscia '03, J.D. '08, currently serves as staff attorney for Bay Area Legal Aid where she practices family law and immigration law.
Kristin Love Boscia '03, J.D. '08, currently serves as staff attorney for Bay Area Legal Aid where she practices family law and immigration law.

Boscia was also part of the Applied Cooperative Education Program, a unique four-year program in the Leavey School of Business designed to provide students opportunities to enhance their leadership abilities and professional skills while connecting them with business executives, faculty, staff, and alumni.

“The business school helped me realize that we need good people in all industries,” says Boscia. “And business skills are essential to making nonprofits work.” Boscia also participated in the Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP), the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC), and other social justice activities.

This was my calling to be a voice for those who are marginalized.

While with JVC, Boscia worked with a girl from Mexico recruited to come to the U.S. to work in a restaurant, but forced into prostitution upon her arrival here. Merely 15 years old, she took the job to support her family back home. “At the time, my youngest brother was only 16 years old, so I could immediately relate,” says Boscia. “It was just heartbreaking. I realized that this was my calling to be a voice for those who are marginalized.”

Her volunteer experiences inspired Boscia to apply to law school. Of all the scholarships Boscia received to attend Santa Clara’s School of Law, the Law Faculty Scholarship, based on her prior volunteer work, is what enabled her to continue her efforts on behalf of low-income people. 

“I was delighted to return to SCU for a degree in law,” she says. “We have dedicated faculty and an amazing social justice program here.” 

Boscia currently practices family law and immigration law on behalf of low-income domestic violence survivors, many of whom are immigrants.

Changing the world through the arts
Katie Fitzgerald ’09 is proud to have built the first permanent stage in Villa Catalina, Nicaragua, a small village that endured the wrath of Hurricane Mitch, which dumped nearly a year’s worth of rain in one week in 1998. As part of Teatro Catalina, a studentinitiated program mentored by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Justice and the Arts Initiative, Fitzgerald and fellow students were promoting social justice through the use of arts education. The stage will serve as home for an after-school summer theatre program for youth. It was a junior-year class—Social Justice in the Arts—that inspired Fitzgerald to combine her love for the arts and passion for service. For many summers Fitzgerald had volunteered in Nicaragua, but she had never thought about using her theatre degree there. As she listened to the guest speakers in that class, her “thoughts began running wild and I started to see how the arts could truly be used to change the world,” she says. Fitzgerald returned to Nicaragua after graduation to work for a nonprofit organization, Amigos for Christ. She teaches an after-school program that often incorporates the arts in the poor rural communities near Chinandega.