Meet Keila Pena, 2024 Jefferson Award recipient

Growing up, Keila Pena split her time between the Dominican Republic and New York City.

The first in her family to graduate college, Pena now dedicates countless hours a week to helping families in similar circumstances.

With support from her husband and three children, Pena founded the nonprofit Succor. The name comes from the Spanish word for help: “succorro.” She helps migrants and asylum seekers get the papers they need to turn their American dream into reality.

Some of her clients escape to Rochester from horrific circumstances like abuse, violence, and persecution in their home countries.

”I’ve seen what can happen and how different your life could be if you have the legal status to pursue that American dream,” she said.

Pena’s story airs at 5:30 p.m. May 15 on News10NBC.