“Josh” has been represented holistically by our Youth Justice Education Clinic (YJEC) and Juvenile Justice Clinic (JJC) for years. He has a history of abuse and neglect and suffered from unaddressed mental health needs. After being illegally dis-enrolled from his local school, YJEC director Megan Stanton-Trehan stepped in to get him reenrolled with appropriate special education classes.
During his junior year in high school, a new DCFS case was opened and he was moved to a group home. JJC managing attorney Brooke Harris, who has represented Josh together with students including Angel Silva (’20) and Vanessa Del Real (’21), advocated for termination of probation, and the court agreed. Josh thrived during his senior year and began attending IEPs to advocate for himself. He even served as a peer tutor for other kids in math, his preferred subject. We were thrilled when we got the news that he had graduated from high school earlier this year!
And it does not stop with Josh. There were 12 YJEC and JJC clients who graduated high school earlier this year. We are excited for these youth who are beginning the next chapter in their lives.