For months, his mom and brothers would come to ACJP on Sundays, and we helped gather community support from his teachers, community mentors, and youth organizations that he was a part of to show Probation and the Courts another side to the picture that was being painted. At one court date, 25 people showed up — most were other young people of color involved with Youth United for Community Action that stood by this young man. ACJP helped communicate with his attorney, organize continuous community support, push for a rigorous education plan while he was in the hall, and convinced his school administrators to halt expulsion. All these collective efforts even resulted in the creation of an Educational Consultant position to the San Mateo County Private Defenders Program staffed by Aria Florant, a community advocate in East Palo Alto with Live In Peace.
This resulted in a sentence that makes real the promise of second chances that juvenile justice system administrators often espouse. It is one that restores young people to a productive path during a critical and transitional moment in their lives.
Thus, last Friday, this young man went from the hall straight to his freshman year at Cal State East Bay at Hayward. He will be the first one in his family to attend college.
Community support sustained him, supported him, and ultimately brought him home. We are excited to see the future he will create! — Submission Post by Charisse Domingo