Fast forward and you end up in Utah, learn English and your first day of High School there is a demonstration outside over LGBT clubs. Where you come from, demonstrations can be become violent, so you go inside and are befriended by a teacher. That teacher becomes a huge influence in your life and helps not only plant the seed of learning in your mind, but also the spirit of reaching out of your comfort level to become the best you can be.
Meet Engels Tejeda, one of the newest partners of the Holland & Hart law firm and recipient of the Utah State Bar Raymond S. Uno Award for the Advancement of Minorities in the Law.
Engels’ grandmother also emigrated from the Dominican Republic and watched over him. One of the jobs she did was cleaning offices. She would come home and tell her grandson about the fancy lawyer offices. Engels got emotional as he told me about taking her with him to see his office when he became a lawyer.
While compensation isn’t his entire motivation for being a lawyer, an event while Engels was in law school put things into perspective for him. He had applied for internships and got an offer letter informing him of his weekly pay. Engels paused and told me that about the moment he realized that his weekly pay as a summer associate, $1700, was twice what his Mother earned in an entire year at that moment back in the Dominican Republic.
All of this because a teacher encouraged him and helped mentor him. Engels now gives back to his college as a member of the Board of Trustees at Westminster College.
He is also involved in something called the “Pipeline Mentor Program” at Holland & Hart in collaboration with the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion, providing diverse law students with access to career development advice and guidance from practicing attorneys. In non-COVID years, the firm hosts an in-person networking and informational session to connect students with supports available in Utah’s legal community. This year, despite the pandemic, 22 attorneys in Holland & Hart’s Salt Lake City office served as mentors, virtually connecting with, and supporting diverse law students throughout their law school journey.
Consider this your personal invitation to watch this extended Jessop’s Journal interview with Engels Tejada and share it with someone that enjoys a great story of dreaming big.
Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com
You can also see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success
Everyone has a Story. Stories have Power. They help us Understand each other. With another entry into Jessop’s Journal, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.