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At the Center — Apr-June 2014

NCYL’s Foster Youth Education Initiative Welcomes Jacqueline Thu-Huong Wong

Jacqueline Thu-Huong Wong

Jacqueline Thu-Huong Wong, M.S.W is the Director for FosterEd California. Prior to this, Ms. Wong was the Principal Policy Consultant for Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg for Human Services, Veterans’ Affairs, Long Term Aging and related issues.  For six years, she was the Statewide Coordinator for the Foster Youth Services Program for the California Department of Education and recognized by the CA Youth Connection for her work with FYS.  She is also a Chief Justice appointee to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care and Keeping Kids In School Initiative. Despite all of her state level work, she prides herself in her previous work as an Administrator for the Oakland Unified School District’s Student, Family and Community Services Department during state receivership, having developed many of her skills from being part of West Oakland’s McClymonds High School student support team as a school-based social worker. Literally, born en route to freedom during the fall of Saigon, Ms. Wong was raised in Stockton, California where she worked across a diverse range of immigrant communities, with gang-youth, and other highly at-risk populations.  She is a proud mother of two young and active daughters.  She received her undergraduate degrees in psychology and social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, her MSW from Sacramento State University, and her School Administrator’s Credentials from CSU, Hayward (East Bay).

The Impact Fund Honors NCYL

L-R: Jeff Bleich, Jocelyn Larkin, Tina Frick, Leecia Welch, and David Carlson

L-R: Jeff Bleich, Jocelyn Larkin, Tina Frick, Leecia Welch, and David Carlson

The Impact Fund honored NCYL for successfully challenging the State of Washington’s failure to provide adequate mental health services for children in the T.R. v. Quigley case. The award was accepted by Leecia Welch, Senior Attorney at NCYL, plaintiff Tina Fricke, and David Carlson, director of Legal Advocacy at Disability Rights Washington, NCYL’s co-counsel. Also pictured, Jocelyn Larkin, Executive Director of the Impact Fund, and Jeff Bleich, a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson, and until recently Ambassador to Australia. He was also being honored by Impact Fund and is long time supporter of NCYL.

NCYL Board member Brian Rocca has been named Co-Managing Partner of Bingham McCutchen’s San Francisco office

NCYL Board member Brian Rocca has been named Co-Managing Partner of Bingham McCutchen’s San Francisco office. Bingham McCuthen is a global law firm with some 1,100 attorneys in nine US offices and five international offices. Bingham McCuthen’s San Francisco office is home to more than 70 lawyers practicing in areas such as antitrust; environmental, land use and natural resources; broker-dealer; commercial litigation; intellectual property; securities litigation; white collar; financial regulatory; and real estate. They are one of the few law firms to appear repeatedly on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Brian focuses his practice on antitrust and complex commercial litigation matters. He has been recognized by Chambers USA and is noted for “quickly gaining a reputation as one to watch in the coming years across the antitrust and complex commercial litigation space.” He was also recognized by Super Lawyers magazine from 2009 to 2014 as a “Rising Star” in the antitrust area.

NCYL Board member Lori Schechter named general counsel of McKesson Corp

NCYL Board member Lori Schechter as been selected as general counsel, chief compliance officer, and executive vice president of McKesson Corp. She has served as associate general counsel of McKesson since 2012. Previously, she was litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster where she represented clients in complex litigation and investigations. McKesson is an international company that provides extensive network infrastructure for the health care industry as well as distributes health care systems, medical supplies and pharmaceutical products.

NCYL Kicks Off its Summer Brown Bag Series with James Bell of Haywood Burns Institute

James Bell inspiring law students

James Bell inspiring law students

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Law students

Junior High School Graduation

In June, NCYL was proud to celebrate the high school graduation of Junior.  NCYL has worked with Junior since 2006 as part of our Education Advocacy Project.  Junior is a talented artist who is always looking for ways to learn and improve his artwork.  He will begin classes at Berkeley City College this August.

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Erin Liotta and Junior at Junior’s high school graduation

NCYL Welcomes Summer Law Clerks

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Raul Arroyo-Mendoza

Raul Arroyo-Mendoza

Raul Arroyo-Mendoza is a rising third-year law student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Raul will be assisting Senior Attorney Michael Harris with impact litigation to reduce racial disparities in the use of exclusionary school discipline and research on implicit bias in the juvenile justice system.

Last summer, Raul interned at East Bay Community Law Center, where he provided a variety of direct legal services to at-risk youth of color. Raul has represented students at individualized education plan meetings, individualized education program (IEP) meetings, and expulsion hearings. In a particularly memorable case, he successfully appealed the expulsion of a middle school student from the Hayward Unified School District at an oral argument before the Alameda County Board of Education. Before the appeal, the school district routinely violated state law by failing to inform monolingual Spanish-speaking parents, in Spanish, of their rights to contest their child’s expulsion from the school district.

Before enrolling in law school, Raul worked as the sole paralegal at Advancement Project’s national office in Washington D.C. For four years, Raul assisted a team of attorneys—partnered with grassroots, community organizations around the country—working to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. Much of his work revolved around compiling and analyzing racial disparities in the use of exclusionary school discipline for Advancement Projects reports as well as Title VI complaints.

Shae Blood

Shae Blood

Shae Blood is a second year student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. This summer she will be assisting Senior Attorney Rebecca Gudeman and Attorney Fiza Quraishi on issues related to adolescent health and mental health care.

At Berkeley, Shae has demonstrated her commitment to legal scholarship by acting as the Publishing Editor for the Ecology Law Quarterly and writing an “in brief” for its upcoming annual review. Shae also participated in the Health Law Initiative and the California Asylum Representation Clinic (CARC). Through these student-run clinics, she helped underserved groups with legal issues and represented a Guatemalan asylum-seeker, respectively. This next year she will take up a leadership position with CARC by recruiting new members.

Shae graduated from Claremont McKenna College magna cum laude with a major in Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP) and a minor in Spanish. Prior to law school she taught English in Spain and improved access to health information at a digital health startup in the Bay Area. In addition to her passions for learning and exploring new cultures, Shae enjoys snowboarding and hiking.

Lilian Fabela

Lilian Fabela

Lilian Fabela is a rising third year student at Berkeley Law School. This summer at NCYL, she will be assisting Staff Attorney Kate Walker with her work to reduce the commercial sexual exploitation of children in California.

When she returns to school, Lilian will serve as Recruitment Chair for the La Raza Law Students Association and Co-Coordinator of the Education Advocacy Project, which trains law students to become education rights holders for foster youth with special needs. She will also be a member of Berkeley’s Trial Advocacy team and the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.

Prior to law school, Lilian worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine to improve education and promote multiculturalism, civic engagement, and gender equity. She also worked in Central America as the Co-Coordinator of School Enrichment Programs for Aprendizaje Global, a non-profit that utilizes education as a tool for social justice.

Lilian graduated with High Honors from the University of California, Berkeley where she earned a degree in History. While at Berkeley, she served as the Verbal Coordinator for the People’s Test Preparation Service, which provided education services to underprivileged students in the Bay Area. She speaks Spanish and Ukrainian.

Juliana Fehrenbacher

Juliana Fehrenbacher

Juliana Fehrenbacher is a rising third-year student at UC Davis School of Law. She will be working with Jesse Hahnel and Rachel Velcoff Hults on the FosterEd Initiative, researching issues related to foster youth education and the implementation of AB 97 (Local Control Funding Formula bill), which holds school districts accountable for the educational achievement of foster youth.

At UC Davis, Juliana is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy. She is also Chair of King Hall’s Education Advocacy Project, which trains law students to hold educational rights for foster youth who do not have an appropriate adult to make educational decisions, and aims to improve the educational outcomes of foster youth. During her second year, Juliana worked in the UC Davis Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic, which assists low-income individuals with matters arising out of domestic violence.

Rica Garcia

Rica Garcia

Rica Garcia is a second year student at the UCLA School of Law in the Critical Race Studies Program.  This summer at NCYL, Rica will be assisting staff attorney Francis Guzman who is working to reduce harsh prosecutions of youth in California’s adult criminal justice system and advocate for alternative sentencing, increased services, and local rehabilitation of youth charged with serious offenses.

At UCLA Rica served as a graduate student representative for UCLA’s Committee on Diversity & Equal Opportunity and was a member of the Earthrights International Team for the International Justice Project.  She also participated in El Centro Legal, serving at the Reentry Clinic and Skid Row Clinic to provide community-based legal services across Los Angeles.  Next year, Rica will co-chair the Skid Row Clinic, co-lead Isang Bagsak: Law Students Collective, and serve as a 2L Representative for the Student Bar Association.  She will also pursue a joint degree with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Rica graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Urban Studies and Society & Environment and a minor in Global Poverty & Practice.  While in college, she served two AmeriCorps terms at the Cal Corps Public Service Center, working for the Alternative Breaks program to address social justice issues through critical service-learning.  She also interned at a development non-profit in the Philippines that built homes for those who formerly lived in squatter settlements and spent a summer cultivating an urban farm in the Bay Area.  Rica is fluent in Tagalog.

Christine MacDonald

Christine MacDonald

Christine MacDonald is a rising 3L at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Christine will be assisting Senior Attorney Bill Grimm in researching psychotropic medication policies pertaining to foster youth. Christine is joining us as a recipient of USF’s Public Interest Law Foundation Summer Grant Program which provides a financial stipend for her work at NCYL.

Christine was a previous summer intern at Legal Advocates for Children and Youth in San Jose, California and participated in USF’s Child Advocacy Clinic this past spring semester. Christine will have an article published in the USF Law Review, Issue IV about the use of collaborative courts with AB 12 foster youth. This coming year, Christine will serve as the Vice President of USF’s Youth Advocacy Association and the 3L Representative for USF’s Student Bar Association.

A native Texan, Christine graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Social Work and received the Victor and Myra Ravel Social Work Scholarship in Children’s Rights. Christine completed her senior field placement at the Austin Children’s Shelter, an emergency shelter for foster youth, where she decided she would one day attend law school to become an attorney for youth in foster care. Following her move to California, Christine worked as a Case Manager for Illumination Foundation, a transitional housing program providing services to homeless families in the Orange County Area. During her time with Illumination Foundation, Christine secured funding for seven families to move from temporary housing to permanent apartments.

Since moving to the Bay Area and starting law school, Christine has become an active member with the Queen’s Bench Bar Association, where she is now the Project Coordinator for the Juvenile Hall Project, which provides female attorneys the opportunity to participate in craft projects with the girls unit in San Francisco’s Juvenile Hall.

Estalyn Marquis

Estalyn Marquis

Estalyn Marquis is entering her second year at University of California, Berkeley School of Law and will be assisting attorney Erin Liotta with ongoing impact litigation.

During her first year at Berkeley Law, Estalyn worked with the International Human Rights Workshop supporting the government of Liberia in its efforts to research international sexual assault statutes and to reform the country’s sexual assault laws. She also volunteered with the East Bay Community Law Center’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) Clinic, was an assistant editor for the Berkeley Journal of International Law, and worked as a judicial extern for California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu.

Estalyn graduated with highest honors from Williams College with a degree in Chinese and International Affairs and from Columbia University with a Master of International Affairs.  As a Teach For America corps member, she taught middle school English, history, and special education in her hometown of New Orleans. She also worked as Director of Alumni Impact at Teach For China before attending law school.  She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the NCYL team this summer.

Ashley Sizemore

Ashley Sizemore

Ashley Sizemore is a third year student and Dean’s Public Service Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. This summer, Ashley will be assisting Senior Attorney Tamara Lange with ongoing research concerning access to mental health services, education, and economic equity.

At Michigan, Ashley serves as the Managing Editor for the Michigan Journal of Law Reform and recently served as a Student Attorney for the Michigan Law Legislation Clinic. As a Student Attorney, Ashley helped draft child welfare legislation to increase sibling placement protections for Michigan foster youth, collaborating with state legislators and the Michigan Legislative Services Bureau to ensure placement protections for a wide variety of sibling relationships.

Previously, Ashley served as a summer associate in the Special Education Division of the New York Legal Assistance Group, advocating for students with disabilities in New York public and independent schools. Prior to law school, Ashley taught third grade in inner city Detroit as a Teach For America corps member where she was selected to design curriculum resources for her district and incoming Teach For America teachers.

Ashley graduated from the University of Michigan with a Masters in Education and a concentration in Urban Pedagogy. In 2010, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she served as the Elementary School Program Director for the Mentorship Program at UCLA, providing mentorship and academic support to elementary students in North Hollywood.

Alexis Turzan

Alexis Turzan

Alexis Turzan is a third year law student at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is assisting Hannah Benton with the Juvenile Justice Initiative and, among other projects, will be working on complex impact litigation involving racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and disability rights in a rural school district.

Alexis is the Co-President of USF Law’s Youth Advocacy Association, a student group dedicated to advocating for at-risk youth involved in foster care, the delinquency system, and public schools. Alexis is also the Managing Blog Editor of USF’s Law and Global Justice Forum, a student publication that focuses on international legal issues impacting human rights, national security, privacy, and environmental policy. At USF, Alexis has received awards for outstanding academic achievement in the study of Constitutional Law, Contemporary Issues of Race and the Law, and is in the process of publishing an academic paper about Brown v. Board of Education’s legacy and the impact of 60 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the project of educational equity in America’s public schools.

Alexis has gained experience in the intersection of Civil Rights and education through her work as the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California’s Education Equity Project Intern and during her time as a 6th grade teacher at Frick Middle School in Oakland, California. An Oakland native, Alexis is an alumni of Teach for America and stayed in the classroom after her AmeriCorps service to earn a California Clear Credential and continue serving youth and families in East Oakland. As a teacher, she secured multi-year grants to bring arts education into the classroom, collaborated on district-wide curriculum initiatives, and has been invited to write about, and speak publically on, her experiences in urban school environments.

Alexis graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a BA in International Relations and Fine Arts. At USC, she was awarded a Presidential Scholarship, participated in the Thematic Option Undergraduate Honors Program, and was recognized as a USC Renaissance Scholar for outstanding scholarship in two different fields. Alexis discovered her passion for teaching through USC’s Teaching International Relations Program, where she volunteered in Los Angeles high schools to engage students in problem-based learning on transnational social justice issues. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys baking cookies and roller-skating.

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