Today we’d like to introduce you to Isabella Fortich.
Hi Isabella, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
My name is Isabella Fortich and I am an Immigration Attorney in the Orlando, FL area. My journey began with a passion for culture and languages. As an immigrant myself, I always dreamt of connecting with others on a deeper level by learning their language and understanding their background. I began studying abroad and learning languages when I was fourteen years old. I took part in a program in Switzerland where I quickly fell in love with French and made it my endeavor to become fluent in other languages. Once I graduated high school, I decided I wanted to continue learning French and I moved to Switzerland. I enrolled in a course at Université de Genève where I not only quickly advanced in the French language but I was also exposed to the cultural aspect of education in another country.
After several months there, I moved to Paris, where I took a course in French Language and Civilization at Sorbonne Université. I got the fabulous opportunity to live with a French family who oddly enough had two sons, two daughters, and physician parents just like my home back in the United States. After spending several months in France and living life like a true Parisian, I returned home. I took home the lingering smell of the corner boulangerie and the strong French accent. Once I returned, I began my undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida where I majored in Economics and minored in French. While in school, I continued to pursue my passion for languages by enrolling in Arabic classes. I enjoyed being back home but as a woman consumed by wanderlust, I decided to leave once again. I decided to study abroad in Sweden where I enrolled in a Supply Chain and Logistics program in the beautiful town of Jonkoping. While there, I got the opportunity to visit many Scandinavian countries and enrich myself in their incredible forward thinking culture.
As of today, I speak, read and write English, Spanish and French fluently. My love for languages arose an incredible need to give back by working in Immigration. While in law school, I participated in multiple immigration opportunities. During the Summer of 2019, I participated in an Immigration Law and Border Enforcement Program in San Diego, California. I visited the San Ysidro Port of Entry, met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and crossed over to Tijuana, Mexico where I visited the U.S. Consulate. Subsequently, I became a volunteer intern with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor in Orlando, Florida. I had the opportunity to first chair hearings and research numerous matters while gaining exposure to multiple federal agencies. I further participated as a student representative at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law Immigration Clinic where I represented non-citizens seeking immigration benefits and defending against removal proceedings. Once I graduated, I became an associate attorney at an Immigration Law firm in the Orlando area. As of today, I am a founding partner at Quintero Fortich Legal where I handle multiple immigration matters and represent clients before several federal agencies. I can now openly say I have achieved one of my life long dreams and will continue to immerse myself in cultures and languages while practicing Immigration Law.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I experienced several struggles along the way. Learning languages was frustrating on some occasions but I was so driven to learn that I got over my frustrations rather quickly. I never achieved the perfect accent but I can communicate and that was enough for me to be satisfied. I got married during law school and I took a leave of absence to temporarily reside in Canada with my husband. After multiple attempts to resume my studies, I decided to return to the United States and travel back and forth from Orlando to Montreal, Canada every weekend. This occurred for approximately 6-8 months. During my time in Canada, I continued taking French classes and was exposed to a different side of French culture by spending so much time in Quebec. These were extremely challenging times for my language studies and the completion of law school.
As you know, we’re big fans of Quintero Fortich Legal. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Quintero Fortich Legal is a law firm founded by immigrant women that experienced the immigration journey themselves. We are dedicated to our clients and thrive to obtain legal status for them to achieve their dream in this amazing country. Our team will help clients with all aspects of immigration including but not limited to family based petitions, deportation defense & business visas. We have served the community and we are committed to educate and inform our clients of ever changing immigration laws while providing exceptional and one-on-one customer service. We are most proud of being able to offer one on one customer service all while answering in less than 24 hours.
What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory was seeing my father become a United States Citizen. I was so proud to watch him sing the national anthem. It was truly one of the best days of my life.
Source: Orlando Voyager