Student Spotlight: Paola Gabriela Zaragoza Cardenales

Paola Gabriela is from Puerto Rico and is in the second year of her Doctorate of Judicial Science from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Paola volunteered with the IU Corps Student Agile Response Team (START) to help local initiative Prevent Pricks develop a toolkit for community leaders to arrange for a safe syringe-disposal box in their area.

Prevent Pricks works to eliminate stigma and promote the safe disposal of used syringes by offering private, secure disposal sites. They currently have two syringe sites in Miami County, Indiana, but hope to expand to any county that will have one — that's where the toolkit comes in.

Paola worked alongside Antonia Sawyer, the founder of Prevent Pricks, to develop a toolkit for interested community members with all of the necessary resources for establishing a disposal box in their area.

"I found it surprising how much financial assistance and logistics are required to implement a kiosk and other necessary resources. I liked working with Antonia; she was friendly and explained the non-profit well. In addition, she was pleased with the result of the toolkit, which made me happy with the consulting that I gave her."

Following the completion of her doctorate, Paola hopes to open her own law firm assisting with non-profits. She says that her experience with START has helped her gain experience in the space as well as taught her about the importance of safe disposal practices.

"It definitely validated that I like working with non-profits and small businesses. I see myself having a small law firm where I help other small businesses in an affordable way."