2022 Tillman Scholar

Natasha DeLeon

Marine Corps
Syracuse University
Juris Doctor

“​​As a social worker, I have seen the injustices that people face within the legal system. Becoming a lawyer will allow me to become part of the solution.”

Natasha joined the United States Marine Corps to pursue her goals of serving others on a grand scale. As a Marine, Natasha worked to deploy service members to combat locations in support of various operations. In 2014, she deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where she aided in the return of over 120,000 service members to their families back home.   

While serving in the Marine Corps, Natasha began volunteering in San Diego’s foster care system as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). This led her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and work part-time at a group home for teen foster boys. Upon completion of her service, her passion for social work grew. Natasha earned a Master of Social Work in 2019, while she also interned as a therapist. During this time, Natasha lived in Togo while supporting her husband during his active duty Marine Corps career. While in West Africa, Natasha led physical self-defense courses for women in vulnerable positions and volunteered with non-profit organizations centered around eliminating gender-based violence.   

Following their tour in Togo, Natasha and her family moved to Colombia where she began working remotely as a paralegal for a private law firm. This is where Natasha began to connect the injustices in the legal and social work systems. From here, Natasha developed a passion for criminal defense and family law. She is pursuing a Juris Doctor degree so she can provide legal assistance and advocacy as an attorney.