Rachel's journey began in Philadelphia, where she grew up in a community and family that instilled an early, profound love for diverse cultures, hope in the possibilities of immigration and a fascination with other languages. Rachel’s South African mother and Jamaican father enveloped her in a church congregation with immigrants from myriad African and Caribbean countries. From her early experience of faith and community, Rachel learned the value and power of moving beyond where you came from even while cherishing your roots. Her early environment, including watching her mother become a naturalized U.S. Citizen, cemented Rachel’s desire to practice immigration law.
A graduate of DC's Class of 2004, Rachel’s professional journey began with a degree in Spanish Business from Messiah College and a graduate degree from Liberty University School of Law. During her schooling Rachel visited, studied, or lived in Jamaica, South Africa, Ecuador, Spain, Argentina and the Dominican Republic, an experience that showed her early on that she was called to immigration practice. Rachel has been with the Poarch Law firm since graduating and teaches annually at the Federal Bar Association conference. Her recent awards include the Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Section Younger Lawyer of the Year award in 2018 and the Alison Parker Young Professional Award given by DePaul Community Resources in 2016. In addition to her work as an immigration and adoption lawyer, Rachel serves as Adjunct Professor at Liberty University School of Law teaching Adoption Law.
Rachel is busy on the home front as well. She and her husband Brad have three sons ages 5, 3 and 1 and live in Salem, Virginia. She is active in her church, leading a small group study.