Message from the President
VICE PRESIDENT – Edwin Reyes
It is with great pleasure and humility that I address all those that visit our website. By clicking on our Board Member Bios it allows us to give you are cursory glance at our various backgrounds and why the Puerto Rican Bar Association plays an integral role in all of our lives.
The abridged version of my life is, I attended Lane Tech High School, went to UIUC, worked after college in corporate sales, and during the time I was working I sustained a life altering injury that paralyzed me from the neck down for three months. At the time, although I was doing quite well professionally, I admittedly was unhappy with my work, and was given the rare opportunity to rethink what makes me tick and the career that would give me a full and satisfied life. I always strongly considered being a lawyer and decided to give law school a go. Whether you see it as fate, or possibly happenstance, I’m currently “working” as an Assistant Public Defender of Cook County, and although some days are rough, there is not a day where I feel like I’m not doing what I was meant to do. More people deserve to find what their niche is. Through community outreach, scholarship opportunities, and career networking, we intend to both help the community and make the prospect of finding one’s path attainable.
Like many, I am the son of a single mother. I was raised in Logan Square by my mother Sally and grandparents that lived a couple of blocks away. My mother is a living legend to me, who through her sacrifice and selflessness allowed me to achieve accomplishments that are often non-existent to many who come from similar circumstances. My mother, even with her modest means as waitress at Gino’s East Pizza, was able to gain my admission to a magnet elementary school. She always bestowed in me the sense of self-worth and pride, as did my grandfather Papi Pedro who would often say things like, “we may not have a lot of money, but you can’t buy class.” They taught me that self-respect, family, education, and humility were imperative. I strive to live by those teachings and as President of the PRBA will implement them in effectuating our mission.
One of my primary goals and personal missions is to provide the resources, networking opportunities in myriad forms, guided community outreach, and mentorship that will allow this to happen. Our programs hope to help make positive and impactful changes on people in the communities we have relationships with by educating, assisting, and guiding people down the path to achieving their goals and hopefully their true niche. Whether it be in the legal community or another field, I hope to help the PRBA foster growth and hope in the community. I have always lived by the mantra “one hand up, one hand down.” I’m excited to meet those that want to join us on the ongoing quest of bettering and uplifting our community.