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Belle Woods
Aug 17, 2023
In Share Your Memory
I had the immense blessing of working with Tessa for more than 3 years at the American Immigration Lawyers Association as she led communications work around our joint project with the American Immigration Council - the Immigration Justice Campaign. Tessa was dedicated. From the moment she took on the role, she made herself indispensable. She was always ready to talk through a possible outreach strategy, to offer advice and insights, to organize a press briefing, write a blog post, or lend an ear if all you really needed was to vent a little. Tessa was tireless. Her energy never waned, even on a tough day that seemed to go on forever, facing adversity and tough challenges was what she was ready for, and she would bring you with her to fight alongside. Her energy was pure light – brilliant, caring, kind, thoughtful. She cheered everyone on and grinned back when you cheered for her. She raised everyone up. Goodness exuded from her – she never allowed anything to get in the way of making the world better and enjoying life, one apple at a time. Those of us who knew her have been remembering her over the last few days - her love of running, her offers to help when anyone needed support, her ability to be present and caring and loving. Her feeling that she was blessed to have her family was so clear whenever she mentioned her siblings or parents. She always asked about your family too - and was such a friend when I was dealing with challenges with aging parents or kid issues. She truly cared. When she pursued her law degree, it was so that she could be a better trained advocate, but her focus, drive, and smarts had already led to real change on immigration justice issues. I missed her immediately, but I also knew how blessed we had been to have had the time with her. All of us who loved her feel that way today, the wrenching pain of missing her surfaces, but it is followed by the knowledge that we feel that pain because we were so unbelievably lucky to have her in our lives.

Belle Woods

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