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ICLS Annual Luncheon highlights our staff

Every year we have an annual meeting that awards a few of our phenomenal staff members for all their hard work. Take a look at our awardees and what they are known for.

The past year has been difficult through the pandemic, as our staff faced the challenges of remote work while continuing to provide clients the highest quality legal aid. They did so with grace, courage, and strength, proving their dedication to the residents in Riverside and San Bernardino who needed legal help.

We couldn’t be more proud of the impact our staff has made on their clients’ lives.

It was with great joy that we finally were able to come together again in person, to celebrate this year’s accomplishments, commemorate a few of our dedicated employees and begin moving ahead into a better and brighter 2022.

Darrell Moore, our Executive Director, said, “The most exciting thing we have to look forward to in 2022 is taking care of our collective selves, learning who we are, learning how to be better, and creating a work environment that truly provides a sense of belonging for everyone.”

Our staff made some incredible strides toward those goals in 2021, doing everything they could to help their clients.

Some of those staff were given Excellence in Advocacy Awards. This recognition went to those who went above and beyond to give their clients an advocate who creates a safe space for their legal issues to be resolved.  These individuals are hard working, dedicated, and will continue to provide outstanding advocacy in all they do. The awardees are the following: Shameka Womack, Isabelle Espinoza-Montes, Stacey Bobadilla, and Iris Vasquez.

Caption: Shameka Womack accepts her Excellence in Advocacy Award virtually on Dec. 17, 2021.

“You go above and beyond for all of your clients. Taking those after hour calls, assuaging  their concerns about upcoming hearings, and checking in with a client after their hearings for further questions.” – Cara Whisler on behalf of Shameka Womack for the Excellence in Advocacy Award

“Isabelle has resumed providing outreach at our senior centers during this pandemic and is willing to meet with any senior in person at our office. Her quality of work produced is outstanding. Isabelle is passionate and compassionate, determined and soft hearted. Thank you for your commitment and service where it mattered.” – Mischa Kennedy on behalf of Isabelle Espinoza-Montes for the Excellence in Advocacy Award

“She does amazing keeping up with her cases and usually she is very accurate with almost no compliance mistakes. She produces high quality work and even though she’s very busy, she is able to maintain a high level caseload.” – Maria Cazarez-Reyes on behalf of Stacy Bobadilla for the Excellence in Advocacy Award

“Iris is always eager to take on a new case and does not shy away from the difficult cases. Iris has been with ICLS less than a year and has already caused a great impact on the lives of our clients.” – Elena Castillo on behalf of Iris Vasquez for the Excellence in Advocacy Award

Next, we recognized the awardees of our Superior Support Awards. This award is given to those at ICLS in supporting roles that are necessary for our nonprofit to function. These individuals not only provide support in administrative duties, but assist in every facet of their teams to ensure all clients receive the best service at our organization. The awardees are the following: Melinda Escobar, Claudia Velasquez, and Lisa Simmons.
“The best, hardest working paralegal in the whole program.” – Greg Armstrong on behalf of Melinda Escobar for the Superior Support Award