This is because young people, like all people, leave complicated lives with issues that extend outside school walls. Therefore, there are many ways as an advocate, a mentor, a teacher, a policy maker, a politician, or a judge, you can affect young people’s lives.
For example, we recently posted on the Supreme Court’s decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana and other recent noteworthy Supreme Court decisions addressing juvenile rights, explaining how juvenile defense and constitutional challenges have slowly made an impact on young people’s lives across the country. You can make a difference as a criminal defense attorney or a civil rights attorney, helping to make the system more friendly and understanding of young people and the problems they face. (Also see here)
In addition, we have also posted about many Colorado cases challenging the state’s education system. These cases were fought by education lawyers, as well as civil litigation attorneys in private practice who worked on these case pro bono through private firms. You can make a difference as an education attorney or even an attorney working in private practice. (See here and here)
We have shared organizing efforts by Padres y Jovenes Unidos who have released education related reports and helped communities make change, whether that be by passing new laws, exposing issues in the system, or uplifting student voices. While lawyers are not always the frontrunners in these efforts, they still work on these campaigns helping to make a difference. (See here here and here)
We have shared education bills and laws on the ballot and at the Capitol, both local and nationwide, demonstrating how you can make a difference as a politician working to create laws to support students and young people. (See here here here here and here)
There are many other ways you can work to support student and youth lives such as through family law, child welfare, immigration, and racial justice work. We hope whatever field you end up in one day, you will find a way to channel your passion for helping youth, knowing there are endless opportunities to change lives.
Posted by Haley DiRenzo