Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Awarded to First Recipients

Illana Mantell

Illana Mantell Ilana grew up in Toronto, Canada and graduated from Stanford University in 1998. She said her excitement about “everything” lead to her work as a freelance journalist, contributing articles on human rights issues from around the world. Ilana returned to Toronto to work at Interval House, an NGO with one residential shelter serving at-risk women and children. Over the course of six years, Interval House expanded to eight shelters to become Ontario’s largest private social service agency for women.

“I have always been interested in being an advocate and want to represent the underdog,” she said. “I became interested in public policy because most of the people we served had very little knowledge of how the system worked. They were immigrants and refugees – the most underserved. I watched what the in-house legal clinic lawyers were doing and I became increasingly interested in the legal aspect.”

As for the Gates PSL Scholarship, Ilana says, “I’m incredibly grateful. I hope it will inspire other civic leaders and foundations to make a similar gift for public service.”

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