I first joined the Center For Youth Development Through Law in the summer of 2005 with an interest in law and public policy but graduated with an enormous passion for politics. As a Political Science major at the University of California, Davis, I owe much to the director and staff of the Fellowship that helped me put my skills to the test and helped me find the drive to pursue my interest in law and government.
This program is nothing short of amazing, beneficial, productive, and has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I graduated from the program in 2007 and am currently the youngest and only graduate on the Board today. I had a wonderful internship, and really built on my resume, communication and speaking skills, and made relationships that will last a life time. The Center For Youth Development of Law gave me a platform of opportunities that I never would have gotten anywhere else. They gave me a scholarship that allowed me to achieve my higher education career at St. Mary's College of California and gave me the motivation to pursue my dreams as an attorney. This program changes lives, I am a living example and testify to that.
This program introduced me to so many different experiences and helped me a lot in future career choices. Not only did it introduced to law classes at Berkeley and allowing me to experience what it was like to study on a college campus, it also set me with an internship at AIDS Project East Bay in Oakland since I really want to do work in the health field. The program really taught me a lot about professionalism, introduce me to how law and justice operates in our society, and many other lessons that were so useful in my college application and work resume. This program truly does help to broaden one's horizon and is an incredible resource and experience.
If it wasn't fot the Legal Fellowship program and programs like these I honestly do not think I would have had the confidence to even apply for this program. The people that I met, my mentors and my peers, encouraged me to work through the emotional hurdles that I was placing around myself. Programs like these help youth in the inner-city by giving us real life examples of how far we can make it if we really push. Of course, the part about learning about law was equally important and I was thankful to have experienced it. But honestly, I wish more programs like this could exist everywhere.
This was one of the best programs I've participated in and it gave me a better understanding of how our Justice system works. The program also offered me an internship to work at the Oakland City Council back in 2006 which gave me an opportunity to work in a professional environment alongside councilmembers and their aides. I enjoyed the classes that this program offered, and also the scholarship awards in which I also was fortunate to receive when I was in the program. I hope that this program will continue to exist far in the future so that students will have the same opportunities I did.
You know when you have your life flash before your eyes? My experience was kind of like that, but not in that context. It was so great that everything just went by so fast it was hard to tell and imagine that it was over so soon. I have never known that it could be so astounding and intriguing.
My experiences with the Summer Legal Fellowship Program were nothing but wonderful. As a student under the program, i worked with a great staff focusing on trial skills, work etiquette, and Constitutional Law. Along with classes, i also had the pleasure of working with the California State Bar Association as in Intern in their Human resources and Accounting Department. The combination of all these great opportunities helped me learn more about myself and the real world than anything I've experienced before. The tools, contacts, and resources I've taken for this experience will without a doubt put me ahead of the competition and I'm so thankful for this opportunity.
I recruit students from my classes for the program, and have volunteered on occasion. I work with students before and after their experience, and I am always amazed at their growth. The program routinely brings out positive qualities in my students that I never knew they had. They return to the next schoolyear with more confidence, more maturity, and a better understanding of what they want out of high school. They rave about their experiences, thank me profusely for recommending them, and assist me eagerly in recruiting other students for the next year. The follow-up after the summer is also impressive: mentors, reunions, yearbooks, etc. I know how difficult it is to make a program like this successful, and I have seen few that accomplish as much.
My first experience with the Center for Youth Development Through Law was in 2001 when I taught Race and the Constitution during the 9-week summer program. I was extremely impressed with the Director, Nancy Schiff and her commitment to the students that had been selected as program participants. Beginning with a rigorous academic program, students were prepared to enter an internship in the legal field. This preparation included team-building exercises, workplace etiquette, and perhaps most importantly, workshops that supported student's personal and emotional growth. The graduation ceremony that took place at the program's conclusion evidenced the mutual trust, respect and caring that had developed among students, teachers and employers over the course of the program. I continue to remain involved with the center as a board member and assist the program each summer by visiting work-sites and evaluating student performance on the job. Employers rave about their intern's professionalism and job readiness. I highly recommend this program to under-represented bay area youth. Whether or not students intend to pursue a career in the law, the skills that participants receive will be invaluable in college and beyond.
The experience I recived by participating in The Summer Fellow Ship prgram is something I would never regret and Iam so thankfull for.I worked in Oakland P.D and it was something I always wanted to do since I want to become a Police Officer or a CSI.This program is graet it helps people of low income and it also becomes a place wher they show you how to not give up even if is hard.This is more then a job ,this is a place that help you strenght your skills,and learn how to deal with the outside world.I hope this program continue to help people ,It does make a change.