Bringing Something Good Out of the Bad
Elizabeth Keyes (1986)

The joy of being in my 40s is seeing how much I have already grown and anticipating how many more ways I will grow as I get older. Life has thrown plenty of challenges at me, and I have learned and grown from each. But sometimes the growth comes from something as simple as reading a wonderful book--a habit The Woods definitely encouraged in me!

In my personal life, I try to live by the Salesian virtues like gentleness and humility (working on patience!). In my career, I have always been inspired by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, and I try to do work that really is in solidarity with some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I have been representing refugees and immigrants facing all kinds of legal issues, from lack of status to lack of fair workplaces, for over a decade. I am with people during and after some of the darkest moments of their lives, and I try to bring something good out of the bad.

I lead an organization for immigrant rights in Maryland, and I try to create resilient networks of community members, students, and former students who are all interested in improving the lives of immigrants and refugees.

When your work is just, it can also be joyous, and mine is, and I am grateful for that. But the lion's share of joy in my life comes from my family, my husband, my parents, and especially my funny, feisty, compassionate daughter who bounces between outrage at injustices (the global and playground varieties alike) and giggling at her favorite TV shows or losing herself in Heroes of Olympus books. She reminds me to find joy in everyday things.

I was a Montessori student when The Woods was founded, and my aunt taught 4th grade there for years. The Woods is such a deep part of who I am, and I cherish my memories of growing up in that school!