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At the Center — Oct-Dec 2012

NCYL’s Foster Youth Education Initiative Welcomes Three New Members to Its Team!

Maya Cooper

Maya Cooper

Kim Corneille

Kim Corneille

Lisa O'Connor

Lisa O’Connor

Maya Cooper has joined NCYL as a policy manager for FosterEd, focusing on improving the educational outcomes for children in foster care. She will be based in NCYL’s Oakland office.

Before joining NCYL, Maya was a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project in New York City, where she provided education advocacy services for children involved in abuse and neglect cases in the family court system. While at Legal Aid, Maya focused on individual case advocacy to ensure that children with disabilities received appropriate special education services. Prior to Legal Aid, Maya was employed for more than six years as an attorney with the Education Unit at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. While at Children’s Services, Maya advocated on behalf of infants, pre-school and school-age children who were encountering difficulty accessing services through the NYS Early Intervention Program or NYC preschool and school age special education systems. Maya also participated in developing effective policies and procedures with city and state agencies to improve access to services for children involved with the child welfare system. During law school, Maya interned at The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, where she promoted permanency for clients by assisting children prepare for court hearings in order to safeguard their interests and legal rights. Maya received her B.S. from the University of Miami and her J.D. from New York Law School.

Kim Corneille and Lisa O’Connor will be joining FosterEd’s Santa Cruz Project in mid-January as FosterEd Liaisons. The goal of the project is to improve the educational outcomes of foster children and youth in Santa Cruz County.

Kim holds an undergraduate degree in human development from UC San Diego, with a minor in Spanish literature, and a Master’s in education and a teaching credential from UC Santa Cruz.  She has several years’ experience as an elementary school teacher, and has also been a tutor, coach and mentor for at-risk high school students. Kim is fluent in Spanish, enabling her to serve both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking families.

Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s in public health from San Diego State University.  She has experience mentoring foster youth, including through UC Santa Cruz’s Smith Renaissance Society.  She will be leaving her current position with Education Training and Research Associates, a non-profit based in Scotts Valley, where she coordinates health and education projects and works with school-age children in underserved Bay Area communities.

Welcome Maya, Kim and Lisa!

NCYL Senior Attorney Appointed to CA Child Welfare Council

Bill Grimm

Bill Grimm

NCYL Senior Attorney Bill Grimm has been appointed to the California Child Welfare Council. The goal of the Council is to increase collaboration among agencies and courts that serve foster youth, and improve the coordination and delivery of foster youth services.

Bill has been lead counsel in the Center’s class action foster care reform litigation in Arkansas, Utah, Washington, and Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada and is nationally recognized as one of the country’s leading experts on the problems of children in foster care.  In 2005, he was awarded the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s (NLADA) Kutak-Dodds Prize, considered the top national honor given to legal services lawyers. Bill also heads up NCYL’s PsychDrugs Action Campaign, designed to end the inappropriate and harmful sedation of tens of thousands of foster children.

California Child Welfare Council members have been selected based on professional involvement and/or experience in child welfare. Others serving on the 50-member committee are foster youth, caregivers, advocates, executive and judicial branch leaders, legislators, and county child welfare directors and administrators. The legislation that set up the Council (AB 2216) in 2006, designates the Secretary of Health & Human Services, Diana S. Dooley, and the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye as Council Co-chairs.

The Council meets quarterly.

Volunteer Attorney Jennifer Friedman Joins NCYL

Jennifer Friedman

Jennifer Friedman

Jennifer Friedman is a graduate of Boalt Hall at UC Berkeley.  In law school, Jennifer served as an Articles Editor for the California Law Review and a volunteer with the California Court of Appeals and the UC Berkeley Workers’ Rights Clinic.

After law school, she clerked in the Northern District of California and on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked briefly in private practice.  Jennifer graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology where she studied minors’ abortion rights and parental consent laws.

Meet NCYL Communications Intern Savannah Reid

Savannah Reid

Savannah Reid

Savannah joined NCYL in the fall of 2012 as a Communications Intern. She is in her third year at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Social Policy and Human Development. Currently, Savannah is researching implicit bias in the juvenile justice system, and reviewing the new book, “Kids to Cash“. Savannah has previously worked as an Outreach Coordinator for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, a teacher with the Breakthrough Collaborative, and an intern for a number of political campaigns. After graduation, she plans on attending law school in hopes of continuing her work in law and policy, specifically aimed at youth. In her free time, Savannah enjoys reading, traveling, playing tennis, and spending time with family and friends. This spring, Savannah will be studying abroad in Seville, Spain.

Lauren Hansen joins Public interest Law Project

Lauren Hansen

Lauren Hansen

Lauren Hansen, daughter of NCYL Director John O’Toole, joined the Public Interest Law Project in 2012 as its first Attorney Fellow. Lauren splits her time evenly between the housing and public benefits units.  Prior to joining PILP, based in Oakland, CA, Lauren worked at Legal Services of Northern California for three years in its Ukiah office doing housing, public benefits, and health law.  Lauren graduated from UCLA in 2004, and then worked as a legal assistant at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington D.C.  She went to law school at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she worked as a research assistant and helped develop the Citizen Lawyer Program, a program that helps students find both legal and non-legal volunteer opportunities.  She spent her summer after her first year in law school doing welfare rights advocacy with the East Bay Community Law Center.  After her second year, she worked at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest doing impact litigation in health, disability rights, environmental justice, and police misconduct.

Renly Bates

Renly Bates

In other news…

Congratulations to NCYL attorney Leecia Welch and husband, Stephen Bates, on the birth of their son, Renly Alexander Almind Bates on October 27. Renly weighed in at 7 lb 5 oz.

The great-grandchildren of Ethel Oden-Brown, NCYL’s legal secretary, celebrate Halloween – Kimoy EricaFaye Tracy, age 2; and Rylan Tracy, age 3 months.

Kimoy EricaFaye Tracy

Kimoy EricaFaye Tracy

Rylan Tracy

Rylan Tracy

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