Elizabeth Rueda Herrera

Legal Assistant and Interpreter at Open Door Legal Services

Seattle

Class of 2015, Psychology and Theology majors


Herrera is a legal assistant and interpreter for Open Door Legal Services, a department of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, which primarily serves homeless and low-income individuals by helping them meet their various legal needs. Much of her work revolves around interpreting for the large Spanish-speaking clientele and helping them with their cases in conjunction with attorneys. Herrera is interested in pursuing immigration law.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

My time at SPU was a place where I developed as both an individual and a professional. My professors and advisors took the time to meet with me and walk me through difficult seasons and that left an impression on me about the kind of person I wanted to be and the small ways in which I could make a difference in others lives.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

I would say that Dr. Brian Bantum, Dr. David Leong, Dr. Bob Drovdahl, Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, Dr. Margaret Brown, Dr. Miriam Adeney, Dr. Bo Lim, Davinah Simmons, Deb Nondorf, Owen Salle, Caenisha Warren, Susan Lane, Ashley Reese, and Lindy Pearson stick out. I really grew into my skin as a woman of color, Latina, and first-generation American and college student in my time at SPU and all of these individuals really took the time to meet me where I was at on a personal level, in big and small ways.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

I would say to trust the timing and rhythm of your life. You can (and should) ask for help from loved ones as you find your footing after college, but at the end of the day, you know what’s best for yourself, and you have to trust that. Also, don’t sell yourself and your talents or skills short. You’ve got what it takes and you’re going to make it.