Becoming a lawyer isn’t just a career goal for Daniela Fierro—it’s a passion.

After successfully completing an internship, the first-year Northeastern Junior College (NJC) student has been working at Kelley Law, LTD for the past year, setting up appointments, drafting legal documents, and submitting court filings for the firm attorney. The experience has inspired her to join their ranks.

“They were really good at teaching me and giving me a good atmosphere to grow and learn about law and procedures,” said Fierro, who lives in Holyoke with her family. The internship “really closes the deal that this is what I want to do. I want to be a lawyer—I want to help people.”

A ‘Weight Off My Shoulder’

Daniela Fierro sits at her desk behind a desktop computer

Daniela Fierro, a first-year student at Northeastern Junior College, works part-time at a local law firm.

With years of school ahead of her, Fierro is eager to get started as a criminal justice major. The daughter of Mexican immigrants—and a first-generation college student—she said NJC offers a close-knit, supportive environment that will ensure she transfers successfully.

“It had what I wanted in a school—it wasn’t super big, it was close to home, and it still gave me the opportunity to work at Kelley Law,” she said.

Fierro is no stranger to NJC. As a Holyoke High School student, she took Concurrent Enrollment courses in sociology and political science that further confirmed her interest in law. Now a full-time student, she plans to make the most of her college experience by joining the college’s debate team and campus clubs.

“I’m super excited to meet new people and make new friends,” she said.

Fierro also earned a scholarship from the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges, relieving some of the financial pressure as she balances her job and school.

“It means not having stress and being able to focus more on my studies and working,” she explained. “It’s another weight off my shoulder that will help me be a better student, a better worker, and just better off in general.”

A New Challenge

As she starts her career journey in earnest, Fierro is quick to credit the supporters around her. She says high school counselors Summer Kreider and Ashley Clayton provided valuable guidance as she considered her next steps. And she’s found strong mentors at Kelley Law, especially founder Tamara Kelley and legal assistant Corrin Myers.

“Becoming a lawyer is a challenge that I think I’ll be able to do,” she said. “I’m very thankful for all the people that have helped me come to this point in my life.”

If you are interested in applying for or funding scholarships for Colorado Community College System students, please visit the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges website.