Profile in Good: Delanor Ulysse
39 years at one job? Not too many people do that. This is my experience.
On December 7, 1981, I was hired at Legal Aid Service of Broward County, as a Paralegal/Interpreter. The position was paid by a grant designed to serve the refugee population of Broward County. I was mainly an interpreter for the Haitians who were 90 percent of our refugee clients. The grant provided service in all areas of law available at LAS, except Family Law. When I started the job, I was attending Fort Lauderdale College and Florida Atlantic University.
After 5 years, while working at Legal Aid and being a husband and father of four girls and one boy, I finally graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Despite several job offers I received after graduating, I chose to stay at LAS for the sake of the refugee clients.
The refugee grant was decreased to a point where there was no more money to keep an attorney on board. A secretary and I ran the program for 5 years. I was a paralegal for all units, depending on the nature of the refugees’ needs, except Family Law. The time to disband the Refugee Unit came. I asked the LAS Executive Director permission to join the Public Benefits Unit, now the “EACH” Unit. Mary Anne Robinson, Esq., accepted me to be part of the Unit. It was under her training and supervision that I fell in love with Unemployment Law.
In 2004, Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) was created. The Public Benefits Unit became part of CCLA. I continued to grow in knowledge and experience in the unemployment law. I am forever thankful for past and present Executive Directors and Supervisors, who allowed me to advocate the fullest of my ability for our unemployment clients.
I serve with a passion for those whose only source of income is their unemployment benefit. It is rewarding and encouraging to remember that, during the last 39 years, I have contributed to help several hundred human beings to escape eviction, car repossession, utility cut-offs, and perhaps, most importantly of all, to keep their dignity.