National Center for Youth Law


Print This Post

At the Center — July-Sep 2013

Mae Ackerman-Brimberg Joins NCYL as a Social Justice Fellow

Mae Ackerman-Brimberg

Mae Ackerman-Brimberg is a Social Justice Fellow at NCYL. Mae recently graduated from Columbia Law School with a dual degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work. After graduating from Stanford University in 2006 with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Italian, Mae worked at a small civil rights law firm and at Children’s Rights in New York on class action litigation to reform state foster care systems before returning to graduate school.

During her time at Columbia, Mae was on the staff of the Human Rights Law Review and an Articles Editor for the Jailhouse Lawyers’ Manual. She participated in the Challenging the Consequences of Mass Incarceration Clinic, in which she represented federal prisoners in cases to improve conditions of confinement and expand access to medical care. She also worked as a social work intern in a New York City public high school, and at Adolescent Portable Therapy, an in-home family therapy program for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Mae spent her summers interning in Grahamstown, South Africa at Legal Resources Centre, at Legal Services for Children in San Francisco, and at NCYL.

Mae returned to NCYL in fall 2013 to join the juvenile justice team. Her work will focus on reducing racial disparities in juvenile justice systems, and preventing the flow of young people from other feeder systems, such as the child welfare and public education systems, into juvenile justice systems.

Rich Taylor Joins NCYL’s FosterEd Project

Rich Taylor

Rich Taylor has joined NCYL as FosterEd’s data manager. In this role, Rich is responsible for implementing web-based, secure systems that import records from school districts and child welfare agencies and share the information with authorized stakeholders who use it to improve the student’s educational outcomes. Rich also ensures FosterEd’s data systems contain the information needed by FosterEd’s external evaluators, RTI International.

Rich has worked in educational settings for more than 25 years. He is a certified Digital Forensics expert and taught the computer technology program at Lamson College in Phoenix, Ariz. He has worked in many facets of education including designing and supervising technology-based, after-school tutoring programs in failing schools in Arizona as well as the Navajo Nation in Northeast Arizona.

Rich is a member of the Arizona Foster Care Review Board and is a licensed foster parent specializing in hard-to-place teens and siblings. He has a long history of volunteer work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters as well as the Boy Scouts. While with the Boy Scouts, he ran a specialized Cub Scout Pack for African refugees geared towards integration into American society and customs.

Rich received his B.S. in Managed Information Systems from University of Missouri, St. Louis and his Masters of Educational Technology from Central Missouri State. He recently earned a Masters in Digital Security Sciences from the University of Richmond.

NCYL Welcomes Zenobia Bell

Zenobia Bell

Zenobia Bell is from Oakland, CA. She earned her B.S. in Political Science from Carnegie Mellon University. She earned her M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA in 2013 where she completed and published her Master’s Thesis entitled “African-American Nomenclature in the 1960s,” which explores the label identity shift from “Negro” to “Black” during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. Also in 2013 she earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

Zenobia spent much of her time in law school preparing for a career in the field of juvenile justice. She interned in Dependency Court with the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, and externed for Presiding Judge Nash of the L.A. Superior Court, Juvenile Division. She also volunteered with the UCLA’s El Centro Juvenile Hall Clinic, and still volunteers as the education rights holder for children who are wards of delinquency court in Los Angeles County.

Zenobia looks forward to putting her skills to the test in her legal career by helping children and families, which is a major reason why she decided to volunteer at NCYL. Here she is on the Implicit Bias Team. This team is working to complete a report about implicit bias and its effects in the juvenile justice system. Zenobia is contributing to the research for the literature review that will be the foundation of this report.

NCYL Welcomes DeAngelo Cortijo

DeAngelo Cortijo

DeAngelo Cortijo has joined NCYL as a juvenile justice advocate engaged in research on juvenile justice best practices and advocating for alternatives to prosecuting and incarcerating children in California’s adult criminal justice system. DeAngelo will also assist attorneys in litigation, including special education and school discipline matters.

DeAngelo is originally from San Francisco’s Mission District. At age two, he entered the dependency system. By age 19, DeAngelo had served six years in the juvenile justice system, including two years in California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. DeAngelo obtained his GED and held leadership and advocacy positions while in the juvenile system. Since his release, DeAngelo, has used his experiences in the juvenile systems not only turn to his life around, but also to become an advocate for disadvantaged children.

DeAngelo is student at the City College of San Francisco and plans to transfer to UC Berkeley in fall 2015. Ultimately he wants to attend law school and become a champion for disadvantaged and at-risk youth and advocate for reforms that treat children in trouble with the law fairly and appropriately for their age and level of culpability.

NCYL Welcomes Jina Lee

Jina Lee

Jina Lee, a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, will assist Senior Attorney Michael Harris with his work on implicit bias, its impact on the juvenile system, and its role in fueling the school-to-prison pipeline. While at UC Berkeley, Jina studied English and Political Science, with an emphasis on American politics. As a student, she was involved with the Asian American Law Journal at UC Berkeley’s School of Law as an undergraduate fellow and articles editor. She has previously interned with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Department of Justice in the Voting Rights Section, where she respectively worked on education policy and voting rights cases. Jina plans on attending law school where she hopes to work in law and policy, focusing on youth in the education sphere. In the mean time, she plans on eating good food in and exploring the hidden gems of the Bay Area.

NCYL Welcomes Lyndsey Marcelino

Lyndsey Marcelino

Lyndsey Marcelino is a third-year law student at Cornell University Law School. She is joining Michael Harris and Hannah Benton as a full-time extern on the Juvenile Justice projects at NCYL.

Prior to law school, Lyndsey was a research associate at the University of California Medical Centers in Davis and San Diego doing neuroscience research with children with neurodevelopmental disorders. While in San Diego, Lyndsey became a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a child with special needs in the foster care system. This volunteer position became the impetus for her to attend law school.

 At Cornell, Lyndsey has been active member of the Latina/o Law Students Association and is a Note Editor of Cornell’s Journal of Law and Public Policy. Prior to joining NCYL, Lyndsey interned at Legal Services for Children and worked primarily in their Detained Immigrant Child Project representing minors in their removal proceedings.

NCYL Welcomes Kathryn Padilla

Katie Padilla

Katie Padilla is a third year student at the University of San Francisco School of Law. This fall, Katie will be working with Maya Cooper on the FosterEd initiative as well as with Leecia Welch on various child welfare projects.

Katie was inspired to go to law school after working with foster youth at The Children’s Receiving Home in Sacramento in 2009, where she was a residential counselor for teenage girls. Katie has continued to focus her internships on families and children while in law school. She has worked as a legal intern at Family Violence Law Center, Legal Services for Children, East Bay Children’s Law Offices, and as a judicial extern for the Honorable Donald L. Sullivan. She was also able to travel to India during her first year as a law student and work at Child Rights Trust, a non-governmental organization in Bangalore that is focused on ending Indian child trafficking. Additionally, Katie has been a CASA since 2012 and is the President of Youth Advocacy Association, a student group at USF that engages law students with diverse child welfare opportunities and informational panels.

Katie graduated magna cum laude from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and camping with her dogs and husband.

NCYL Welcomes Adriana “Ana” Rasquiza

Ana Rasquiza

Ana Rasquiza is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy.  At the Goldman School, Ana recently completed a policy consulting project for the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights, analyzing the racial disparities in the enrollment and authorization processes of Oakland’s charter schools.  Ana spent the past summer as an analyst at the San Francisco Human Services Agency, providing the agency with recommendations and strategies about how it can best communicate with low-income families about child care options within the city.  Before graduate school, Ana worked at Preschool California, a non-profit early learning advocacy organization, where she worked on child care licensing reform and supported the organization’s sponsorship of the legislation which created Transitional Kindergarten, a new grade which will eventually grant 125,000 children increased access to high quality learning experiences before they turn five.  As an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, Ana co-authored a chapter titled “Social Impact of Prejudice, Stereotyping, Discrimination: Public Policy,” in the SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination (Dovidio, 2010).

Photos: NCYL Law Clerk/Intern Olympics

Alameda County Juvenile Justice  Center


NCYL’s summer law clerks visited the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center. Law students began the day in Judge Dorado’s courtroom, watching his calendar. Judge Dorado then joined them for lunch, which was followed by a tour of the juvenile detention facility.