Felipe Merino

Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney, Goshen Community Schools Board President
Current Residence: Goshen, Indiana

I was born in Bellflower, California. I went on from high school to Stanford University, then made my way to Indiana to the University of Notre Dame for law school.

I went back to California and was working with Congresswoman Maxine Waters on projects in the community. I worked with then-city councilman Antonio Villaraigosa in east Los Angeles to set up community centers. He later became the mayor, the first Latino mayor in about 180 years. Then I made my way back to Indiana. I was living in South Bend and Elkhart for a while.

In all my work as a criminal defense and immigration attorney, I kept running into people that were somehow connected to Goshen. I was very interested and intrigued at what was happening over here. One way or another, everyone I met who was doing something amazing was from Goshen. So when I first came to Goshen, I decided this is the perfect fit for me.

From an early age, my parents instilled in me the value of service and giving back to others, even if you don’t have much yourself. Neighbors, friends, people around us, we need to look out for each other.

Since an early age, I learned that there is more that unites us as a people than what divides us. For those that would dedicate themselves to dividing communities, I would say shame on you because many good people have fought, sweat, and died for this country throughout the years so that we can be united here as Americans.

I am extremely passionate about the American Dream and making sure that everyone has it. It is directly connected to why I decided to run for school board. I want to make sure every child has the best educational opportunities possible.

Success is not measured by how much money you can put in your pocket. It’s not measured by only succeeding for you and your family, but being able to give back to those who have not been afforded the same opportunities. Amongst the individuals who have not been afforded the same opportunities, you will find treasures. There are people who can change the world in those communities.

Editor • Liz Shenk
Interview + Photography • Ashley Ganger

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