National Center for Youth Law


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At the Center — July-Sept 2014

NCYL Has a New Communications Director, Lewis Cohen

Lewis Cohen

Lewis Cohen is the Director of Communications. Mr. Cohen is a former Deputy Mayor of Oakland, California and served as the Mayor’s Senior Policy Advisor for Education. He has an extensive background in public policy, advocacy, and journalism with a particular focus on education. Prior to working in the Mayor’s office he was Executive Director of one of the nation’s best-known school-reform organizations, the Coalition of Essential Schools. He previously served as Assistant Superintendent for Government, Policy and Legislative Affairs at the Oakland Unified School District. Mr. Cohen began his professional life as a broadcast journalist working in Washington D.C. as National Affairs correspondent for Pacifica Radio. He is an award winning documentary producer and investigative reporter for public television. He is a native of Stanford, California and earned his B.A. in Sociology at the University of Michigan.

NCYL Welcomes Equal Justice Works Fellow Annie Lee

Annie Lee

Annie Lee is a 2014 Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Oracle Corporation and Bingham McCutchen.  Annie will be working in Alameda County, CA to improve foster youth educational outcomes by focusing on the implementation of California’s new Local Control Funding Formula’s foster education provisions.

Annie attended Harvard Law School where she spent two years as a student attorney through the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.  She represented over one dozen low-income families in eviction, benefits, and wage and hour cases.  She also led a weekly eviction defense clinic, in which she assisted more than fifty unrepresented tenants file Answer and Discovery.

Prior to law school, Annie received a BA in Political Science and Chinese from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Science in Teaching from Fordham University.  For two years, she taught 11th grade United States History in the Bronx, helping her students achieve the highest pass rate of any state-tested subject in the school.

NCYL is Excited to Have Stephanie Krol and Jalem Peguero Join NCYL as a Bridge Fellows

Stephanie Krol

Stephanie Krol will be working with the child welfare team assisting in ongoing litigation.  As a former foster child, Stephanie’s own experience has motivated her to pursue a career as an advocate for child welfare.  Stephanie earned her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law.  Before law school, Stephanie volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in San Francisco.  During law school, Stephanie also volunteered at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles’s (LAFLA) Domestic Violence Clinic, Public Counsel’s Adoption Project, and Children’s Law Center of California. Stephanie graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in History and Political Science.

Jalem Peguero

Jalem Peguero will be working on issues concerning immigrant youth, under the supervision of Hannah Benton. She is also a recent graduate of U.C. Berkeley School of Law.  Before law school, she completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.  At Berkeley, Jalem kept herself busy with, among other things, the California Law Review and the Berkeley Law Board of Advocates Trial Team.  After college and before law school, Jalem directed the startup of a youth center, where she provided career development and employment services to at-risk youth.  She also spent time as an intern and volunteer prison staffer with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.  Jalem is originally from the Dominican Republic.

Senior Attorney Rebecca Gudeman is Recognized by SAHM

The Northern California Chapter of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) has named NCYL’s Rebecca Gudeman the recipient of its 2014 “Regional Chapter Recognition Award” for her work assisting health care providers and other youth serving professionals understand and navigate the law so that they can bring needed health care to young people. According to SAHM, the award “was created to enable regional chapters to recognize an individual in their region who has worked tirelessly, diligently and creatively to improve the health and/or well-being of adolescents.”  Regional award winners become nominees for the 2015 SAHM national Regional Chapter Recognition Award to be presented at the annual SAHM conference in Los Angeles this March.

NCYL Boardmember to lead East Bay Community Foundation

NCYL Board member James Head has left his executive position at the San Francisco Foundation to become the new Executive Director of the East Bay Community Foundation. James has served on NCYL’s Board of Directors since 2002 and is a strong supporter of NCYL’s work to help children in need. He has more than 30 years of experience in philanthropy and grant making, nonprofit management, and public interest law. Prior to entering the philanthropic world, James was the long time Executive Director at the National Center for Law and Economic Development, now known as the Insight Center.  Additionally, he served as legal counsel to the California Community Economic Development Association. James is an adjunct professor at University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law, University of California at San Francisco’s Hastings School of Law, and University of Santa Clara’s School of Law. James has been a Commissioner at the Port of Oakland since 2009.

FosterEd Santa Cruz Education Liaison, Lisa O’Connor takes her twins Piper and Quinn for a hayride!


Board Member Jim Weill honored by Coalition of Human Needs

NCYL Board member Jim Weil has been named the “2014 Human Needs Hero” by the Coalition of Human Needs, an alliance of national organizations promoting federal policies to address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable people. Jim has been President of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) since 1998, where he has worked to expand participation and improve benefits in key anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. In addition to serving on NCYL’s Board, Jim is chair of the Children’s Leadership Council.

Frankie Guzman speaks at Chabot College during their College Hour event

Frankie Guzman