“In her heart, an Oklahoma City attorney considers children of the incarcerated part of her extended family.
Francie Ekwerekwu, 30, said she knows what it is like to live without a parent due to imprisonment because her own father was incarcerated from the time she was age 5 until she turned 27.
“I feel like these kids are my brothers and sisters,” she said.
That empathy fuels her passion for her work with The Education and Employment Ministry, also known as TEEM.
By working on behalf of people coming out of jail and prison, Ekwerekwu said she feels like she is indirectly helping their children and entire families lead better lives.
“Who is the underdog here and how can they be helped?” said she of youths who have incarcerated parents.
“I’m like wow, I know that life.”
The attorney currently represents TEEM’s community sentencing clients in Oklahoma County family court, walking them through such issues as child custody, paternity and divorce. Before that, she worked exclusively as the nonprofit’s attorney arguing for lower bail bonds for the agency’s clients.”
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