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.
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!