Expanding a Replicable Model for Youth Leadership and Advocacy

The Challenge

Well-informed improvements to public systems require the perspectives and expertise of youth with experience in those systems, yet policymakers often discount these perspectives. Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Advocacy Program rebalances this dynamic by centering youth voice and leadership in its policy advocacy efforts. The program accomplishes this goal by providing systems-involved youth with professional training, tools, and opportunities to evaluate public systems critically, and to develop and lead policy solutions. Youth Advocacy Program staff also provide support through referrals, planning, and resources to bolster youth advocates’ well-being. To date, Juvenile Law Center has selected one program alumnus as a fellow each year to support the current youth advocates and to inform Juvenile Law Center’s ongoing legal project work. The organization is now poised to expand the fellowship and deepen this integration.

The Project

As a Stoneleigh Foundation grantee, Juvenile Law Center is developing a new fellowship model to connect fellows with lived experience more closely to the work of its legal project teams. In addition, the Stoneleigh Youth Advocacy Fellowship will become a replicable model for other organizations interested in supporting authentic youth leadership and youth voice in advocacy efforts.

Specifically, this grant will enable Juvenile Law Center to:

  • Host three, one-year cohorts of Stoneleigh Youth Advocacy Fellows, who will be embedded in one of four Juvenile Law Center legal teams.
  • Crystallize lessons learned into toolkits, trainings, and communications that articulate the most effective methods for engaging and partnering with young people. Juvenile Law Center will distribute these resources to other funders, nonprofits, and stakeholders locally and nationally.
  • Assist Stoneleigh Foundation staff, Fellows, and other stakeholders in partnering with young people ethically and effectively.

Juvenile Law Center

Stoneleigh Fellow

2024 – 2027

Juvenile Law Center