March 3, 2011 09:28 Age: 3 yrs

Emory Law Student Wins University Humanitarian Award

Third-year student Jessica Felfoldi was named a recipient of Emory University’s 2011 Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes students who embody a spirit of volunteerism and sense of community, both on campus and off.

“I’m not sure it’s fair to call myself a humanitarian yet,” Felfoldi says. “I’m someone who aspires to be a humanitarian. I see this more as a mandate to go out and continue to work toward becoming a humanitarian.”

Felfoldi has been actively involved in public interest work since she started at Emory Law, serving as president of the Legal Association for Women Students and on the board of the Emory Public Interest Committee. She also has devoted her time to a variety of local public interest organizations including the Barton Child Law and Policy Center and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

This semester, Felfoldi is participating in a field placement at the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, representing domestic violence survivors in family violence court and helping them obtain protective orders.

After graduation, Felfoldi has been selected to serve as an Equal Justice Works Fellow for two years. In this role, she will work with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society’s Mental Health and Disability Rights Project to advocate for nursing home residents struggling to leave the facilities. The project, sponsored by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, will assist low-income persons with disabilities who are applying for federal funds to help with the transition from the nursing home to the community.

“There is a huge number of people who could benefit from this type of program, and it takes an incredible amount of advocacy for each person,” Felfoldi says about the project. “I’m happy to say that I’m about to graduate and will be leveraging the law to help those who have been marginalized.”

Students are nominated for the Humanitarian Award by peers and faculty members for demonstrating honesty, integrity, responsibility and a sense of community; for special acts of courage and friendship; and for committing time and energy in service to others. This year, three students were selected from Emory College and three from the graduate and professional schools across Emory University.

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