Ian Stephens, A First-Year Law Student at Texas A&M University, Helps People Experiencing Homelessness in Dallas Area
RUTHERFORDTON, NC, June 10, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, recently awarded its Volunteer Service Scholarship to Texas native Ian Stephens, a first-year law student at Texas A&M University School of Law. The law firm’s $2,500 award goes to an eligible law school applicant or a current law student who embodies the spirit of volunteerism and desires to help others in need.
The North Carolina-based law firm leads various cases for its clients but knows the common thread that connects them is its commitment to helping people seeking legal guidance. It also believes that giving to people in need makes communities stronger. This scholarship recognizes students who serve and give selflessly to others. Stephens will use the scholarship to “pay for an opportunity to study abroad, allowing me to work with an actual client, gaining valuable experience, and experiencing a new culture.” This summer, he will work with a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas and for a plaintiff’s side wage and hour firm. He also plans to complete an externship with the office of a major public defender.
‘Selfless Service’ Inspires Effort to Help People Without Housing in Dallas
Stephens believes one person can make a difference, which he set out to do when he considered how to help people experiencing homelessness in the Dallas area. He saw how the city’s homeless population increased and believes the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to its growth. While the organization I volunteer for and I would not have adequate resources to rehouse people, we decided that we could in some way improve the material conditions on the ground for some people,” he says.
Eventually, Stephens organized a fundraiser to buy 10 Tailgate Toilets and their accessories for people living in eight encampments in the Dallas area, helping hundreds in the community, he says.
“I organized a raffle where I was able to get t-shirts, magazine subscriptions, and signed books donated as prizes and solicited online donations for a chance to enter,” he shares in his scholarship essay. “In only the first few days after launching the fundraiser, I was not only able to raise its $1,100 goal but to surpass $1,200, allowing us to buy extra bags and disinfecting wipes as well.”
Encampment Residents’ Responses ‘Insightful and Fulfilling’
In addition to a sense of accomplishment from helping others, Stephens noted how encampment residents were moved by the thoughtfulness of the service project he led. “They expressed to us how no one had ever thought of doing something like this in their past experiences,” he shares. He also says they shared that other nonprofit groups would take note of the Tailgate Toilet project and hoped they would receive more.
Stephens plans to stay in the Texas area, where his family lives. While in law school, he wants to work in plaintiff’s side labor and employment law. He also will pursue a concentration in workplace law. He is also interested in representing unions when his law career gets underway.
About Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, based in North Carolina, offers a wide range of legal services, including personal injury law, family law, Social Security Disability, workers’ compensation, bankruptcy, wrongful death, and more. The firm’s attorneys handle each case with compassionate and responsive legal care and help people in North Carolina and South Carolina.
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