When Mary McCabe meets with children from Honduras, El Salvador, or Guatemala, she is struck by their hope. They have left their homes and ventured alone to the US leaving behind worlds of gang violence, domestic and sexual abuse, extreme poverty in their communities, and abandonment by their families. Still, the children are inspiring: “they are amazing and upbeat and often talk about how they can’t wait to go to school."
Mary McCabe is a bi-lingual Know Your Rights Coordinator as part of HIAS Pennsylvania's Youth Advocacy team. She educates unaccompanied children who were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border like Miguel about their rights. Mary and her team teach the children about their rights and how the American legal system can protect vulnerable children in need of refuge. She then interviews the children to find out whether or not they might qualify to get legal status and tries to connect them to a pro-bono or low-cost lawyer.
Mary is touched by the their stories of pain and suffering--something no child should have to endure--and happy that she can help offer them a way to take back their childhood.