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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Center For Youth Development Through Law

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Civil Rights, Education, Educational Services, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training, Minority Rights, Youth Development Programs

Mission:

Our mission is to inspire and help prepare disadvantaged young people to:

 

  • Succeed in higher education
  • Achieve productive, fulfilling careers and lives
  • Understand our system of government and law, and
    Participate meaningfully in community life

Results: Hundreds of youth have completed our full-time, summer program of paid internships, academic enrichment, and life skills and career development activities.  We have also provided follow-up educational mentoring to these young people.  100% of our program participants have graduated from high school, and 90% have pursued higher education. Some remarks by program graduates: “This program changed my life!” “Because of this program, I realize I am someone.” “This program showed me how, if I put my mind, body, and soul into something, I can get anything accomplished.”

Geographic areas served: Richmond, Berkeley, and Oakland, California

Programs: We provide disadvantaged East Bay young people with a full-time summer program that includes legal and life skills instruction on the UC Berkeley campus, instruction in conflict resolution and communication skills, and paid, full-time professional internships. Throughout the year, we provide one-on-one mentoring and career and educational support activities to young people who have previously completed our summer program.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Former Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 inaslaw

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I actively participated in the Center For Youth Development Through Law during My Last year of high school. This program couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me, being an adolescent, not having many positive influences in my life, coming to this program gave me a sense of accomplishment that motivated me to go to college and actively plan to pursue a career in law. I had always been interested in such academic areas of study from a very young age, however I had not a single opportunity to include myself in such a program, where I can experience and be part of a professional environment. My internship, which I received through the Center of Youth Development Thorough Law was amazing and helped me to really get outside my comfort zone, working at a Congressional office was a challenging task that help me to grow as a person and develop professional skills I otherwise would have missed out on. In addition once I entered college, I stayed connected with the program and was able to have access to allot of resources that help me through my academic life. This program was a key factor in helping me stay away from a life of meritocracy and crime unfortunately like some of my friends. I now believe that being part of such an organization can really help youth stay away from a life of juvenile delinquency and build positive communities.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Center For Youth Development Through Law was one of the most wonderful experiences. Before the program, I was confused about what I wanted to do in life. I didn't know if I wanted to pursue law school or even law in general. This program introduced me to what law was really about and provided me the opportunity of being an attorney in a mock trial case with a real judge. Moreover, I was able to visit the Alameda Courthouse and witnessed actual court cases, further opening my eyes to a possible future. The classes that the Center For Youth Development Through Law helped me gain knowledge in areas that I could not learn in high school. The Constitutional Law class helped me realize that I had a fascination with past court cases and debating. The Moot Court class showed me the rules and the strategies to become a successful attorney. The World of Work class demonstrated what the real world was all about with mock interviews and resume workshops. Finally, the Conflict Mediation class introduced me to psychology. I still remember the information from the class, and I enjoy sharing it with my friends. The teachers in these classes were amazing because they really cared about us. They understood us on a level that our regular teachers in high school did not. The program brought in inspiring lawyers, community leaders, and current law school students to speak about their own experiences, ambitions, and struggles. Also, I could not have asked for a better internship. I interned at the Oakland City Hall with Councilmember Jean Quan. Not only was I exposed to law but also the political world. At my internship, I was given the opportunity to give back to my community by educating youth. I taught diversity classes in recreation centers about sexism, racism, sectarianism, homophobia, and classism. I compiled and organized a National Night Out list of 300 block parties in Oakland's District 4. I also translated English to Chinese for the residents in the district at events, fairs, etc. My experience in the Center For Youth Development Through Law has been life changing and I would definitely recommend it. It has provided me with the exposure to law, the real world, and politics. As a first year at UC Berkeley, I still hold the lessons and knowledge close to my heart. I am very grateful for such an opportunity, so please support such an amazing program !

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in the Center for Youth Development Through Law the summer before my senior year of high school. The program provided me with the opportunity to work as a legal intern at a big law firm in downtown San Francisco. At 16-years-old, this was my first job. The program not only placed me at my internship but also provided me with the training and skills that allowed me to be comfortable and really flourish as an intern. I gained valuable experience and gained skills that allowed me to get subsequent jobs and internships. I used that summer experience on my college applications and for work applications. The experience and internship placement allowed me to gain a lot of confidence in my skills and abilities. I later graduated from a 4-year university and law school. I am now a practicing attorney and credit my work ethic to my first working experience that summer and the support I received from the Center For Youth Development Through Law.