By: Ashley N. Sybesma, 16th Judicial Circuit YLD Board of Governors Representative, Ex-Officio
Magdalena Ozarowski, an attorney in Tallahassee, has been a practicing attorney since 2006 and has practiced in Florida since December 2011. Ms. Ozarowski was nominated this year for her work with the Legal Services of North Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program. Ozarowski first joined the Guardian ad Litem program in December, 2014, wanting to share her most valuable resources with those who are less fortunate and needed it the most. Those resources were her mind and training; Ozarowski believed it was her duty to help her community.
After receiving her training, she immediately took a case and was assigned a teenager who entered the system when she was an infant. After more than a dozen foster homes by the time Ozarowski’s client was 8, the teen was finally adopted but due to behavior and mental health issues, in addition to typical teenage angst, her adoptive mother gave her back to the system. Instead of seeing a troublemaker, Ozarowski saw a teen who needed someone to believe in and fight for her. Ozarowski was able to get the teen placed with her older sister, got her enrolled in ROTC to help plan for the teen’s future, and even helped the teen obtain a driver’s license. Ozarowski was by the teen’s side at every court hearing advocating for her best interest; Ozarowski became someone in the teen’s life who did not give up on her.
Ozarowski urges attorneys to find somewhere in their own community where they could use their passion and skills to make a difference. Ozarowski, through her pro bono efforts, has made a real difference in assisting her client to have a brighter future.