Page 14 - RWU Law / Issue#4 Fall 2012

RWU LAW
Fall 2012
12
RWU students, faculty and
alumni in the community
Field Reports
By Steve Stoehr ’14
For Luis Mancheno ’13, the summer of
2012
was a dream come true. Having
excelled during his first two years at RWU
Law, he achieved his “best-case scenario”
summer job – an internship with the Office
of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees.
Based in the U.N.’s Washington, D.C.,
office, Mancheno was a member of the
resettlement unit overseeing North America
and the Caribbean. Every day, he worked to
help people officially recognized as refugees
relocate to countries that could offer them a
place to live their lives in peace.
During my time at UNHCR, I learned
that – while every refugee’s story is different
and their anguish personal – they all share
a common thread of uncommon courage,”
Mancheno says. “The courage not only to
survive, but to persevere and rebuild their
shattered lives.”
As a refugee himself – he sought
asylum in the U.S. from Ecuador, where
he had been persecuted for being openly
gay – Mancheno has long been aware
of the UNHCR and its work. Directly
participating in that work, however, took his
respect to a whole new level.
The access that I had during this
internship – to legal resources, U.N.
officials, conferences and networking
opportunities – has been unmatchable.”
At Roger Williams, Mancheno has served
as president of the LGBT Alliance, vice
president of the International Law Society
and a member of the Multicultural Law
Students Association. After graduating next
spring, he hopes to secure a full-time job with
the UNHCR, so that he can “keep working
for the lives of the most disadvantaged and
vulnerable people on the planet.”
More than anything, I am
accomplishing the call of my life,”
Mancheno says. “There is no way of
explaining how it feels to help somebody
who is in the same situation I was in just a
couple of years ago.”
A Common Thread of Uncommon Courage’
For 3L Luis Mancheno, Summer 2012 meant a unique opportunity
to aid fellow refugees at the United Nations