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MALHEUR MOVERS: Ontario woman has been a voice for others

Maria Romero pictured in her office at the Oregon Law Center, where she's worked as a paralegal for nearly 40 years. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

ONTARIO – As a young girl growing up in Ontario, Maria Romero was so shy that she would hide behind a dinner plate when someone tried to talk to her at the table.

But today, Romero’s work as a paralegal at the Oregon Law Center since 1980 – and her deep ties to the community – allow her to speak on behalf of countless in the city.

“I can be a voice, and I have that trust,” Romero said, trailing off as if to indicate “why not?”

At her day job, she is a paralegal at a nonprofit law office that provides free legal help on civil matters to people who . . .