Youth Advocacy Foundation

Youth Advocacy Foundation

Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline.



With the holiday season in full swing, why support YAF?

Because of young people like Mike.

When EdLaw took his case he was an 18 year old high school senior with a full scholarship to college. Merely weeks from graduation he was found on campus in possession of marijuana and a knife. Instead of college, he was facing an expulsion hearing and criminal charges in court.
But why did Mike, a bright student, have marijuana and a knife in the first place? The knife- for protection, because he had been mugged outside of school earlier in the year. The marijuana- to self-medicate some undiagnosed mental health issues.
What Mike needed wasn't a prison sentence; he needed an advocate
This is where EdLaw stepped in. Our team worked with Mike's defense attorney to simultaneously protect his interests in court and addressing his mental health needs by helping Mike access appropriate clinical services. 
The result? 
Instead of expulsion, the school agreed to impose a shorter suspension. Mike was able to graduate and keep his scholarship. He is now a freshman in college with plans of one day becoming a lawyer.


we may not be the biggest non-profit out there or the most well-known, but we create concrete, lasting impact by

disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.


Take a moment to consider all the Mikes out there who really need an advocate. Maybe you were one of them. Who was your advocate?

Help ensure Massachusetts youth have an advocate when they need it the most.

Donate today. From all of us at the Youth Advocacy Foundation and the EdLaw Project, we wish you a very warm and merry holiday season!

For many students, trouble at school can lead to their first contact with the criminal justice system. When schools suspend or expel a student, it increases the chance they will fall behind or drop out. Often, police become involved in school disciplinary matters. This is what experts call the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

All youth deserve full rights and the protection of a fair and equal justice system. At YAF, we know that means keeping students in school and out of the court system. We advocate for students and families dealing with education or court issues. By breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline, we give kids a chance to grow into caring and healthy adults. We also raise awareness of policy issues that affect court-involved children.

2017 Annual Spring Celebration

Thank you for your support!




Christopher Ainley and Shelby Marston-Ainley

Thomas Boreiko and Alison Coolidge

Joshua Dohan and Patricia Garin





Kenneth Parsigian and Susan Shay Mayer




Jeremy Cohn

The Dohan-Strek Family

Treco Family Foundation



Do you need advice on an education matter?


Contact the EdLaw Helpline at 617-910-5829, email or fill out the form below:

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