Selection Day for UC Law SF took place on August 26 and was a joyful reunion of old friends and classmates and a celebration of our newest Fellows.
This year, the Fellowship congratulates Tori Arnau, Brittany Jackson, and Isabella Ysebrands, who graduated in 2023 from UC Law San Francisco and have been designated as Tony Patiño Fellows. Click here to see photos from Selection Day celebrations.
From Tori Arnau’s speech:
“I am proud to be part of the Tony Patiño Fellowship class of 2023. My class’s journey to graduation has been tumultuous. I wish I could speak about my experience in law school without mentioning COVID, but it wouldn’t be my experience without it. I did my entire first year out of my tiny studio apartment in LA while also working full-time as a labor organizer at the Filipino Worker Center. At the end of my first year, I had to leave this job behind and move to San Francisco.
I told myself that if I were going to move to a new city and leave my people, I was going to make it worth it. Thank you to my Tony Patiño family for being the first community to welcome me. I deeply accept the guidance, support, and all the meals at Chao Pescao. To the current Tony Patiño Fellows-Elect, I wish you an abundant amount of energy and opportunity. And to my fellow first-gen, low-income people of color, I wish you comfort, so much comfort. You belong here, you are meant to be in this profession, and your existence is a blessing of its own.”
From Brittany Jackson’s speech:
“I remember during my interview with the Selection Committee three years ago saying that if I wrote a book, it would be titled Loyal to My Soil. Luckily, they liked it and named me a Tony Patiño Fellow-Elect. But even more importantly it reaffirmed me. The phrase Loyal to My Soil was as true to me as I had been throughout my life, constantly growing, but firm in my roots and nurtured by the people, places, and experiences around me.
The generous scholarship from the Fellowship and the network of support have added tremendously to my law school experience. Finances were one of the barriers that dictated whether or not I would pursue law school. Thankfully I was able to. Although my law school chapter has ended, my next one begins as I begin my legal career in Texas where I will do social-driven work because we all know it is much needed.”
From Isabella Ysebrands’s speech:
“I knew that if I wanted to succeed both as a law student and as a lawyer, it was imperative that I find a trustworthy community to help guide me through. Finding the Tony Patiño Fellowship really was the answer to my prayers. When I first scrolled through the Fellowship’s website and read the member profiles, I was awestruck. What I saw was a community of brilliant lawyers and law students who were dedicated to serving the public and creating positive change. As the daughter of a devoted firefighter and having worked in a challenging public service role myself, I strongly resonated with Francesca Turner’s mission of leaving this world better than we found it.
I was eager to join a network of leaders, who like me, valued public service, character, justice, and compassion. For the past three years, the Fellowship provided me with an invaluable support network of truly inspiring mentors and other Fellows-Elect that I’ve had the opportunity to bond with and learn from. They have helped me to become a wiser and better version of myself. Knowing I had this network of people ready to lift me up if I ever fell down brought me confidence during difficult times, and allowed me to muster the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and aim for greater things, many of which I proudly achieved.
As a Tony Patiño Fellow, I’m excited to remain a part of this generous community and look forward to providing the same indispensable mentorship that I received to the current and future Fellows-Elect.”