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Alumnus Spotlight: A Jersey Boy’s First Street Law Experience
January 23, 2014
Last year, when I nervously, but excitedly, submitted my application for Street Law's Civics & Civil Rights Institute, my mind raced with the possibility of being accepted to what seemed like a prestigious program that would really enhance my career. The short turnaround time of my acceptance, and the care Street Law staff took in their communications about the Institute, erased all nervousness and only increased the excitement level! This Jersey City, NJ history teacher was used to navigating things on his own, but I really didn’t need to given the help provided by Street Law. The Institute was definitely a highlight of my summer and of my career.
I teach at Lincoln High School, where we offer a "Law and Legal Small Learning Community" that aims to prepare students for careers in the field of law—from security guards to attorneys and everything in between. The program emphasizes the practical side of the law, much like Street Law, through the use of relevant case studies that appeal to the teenage mind.
My time at the Civics & Civil Rights Institute exposed me to a number of new resources that fit perfectly with our law curriculum. Returning home with these materials and sharing them with my colleagues has helped us all improve the way we teach about the subjects of civil rights and law.
What I really enjoyed most about the Institute, however, was the camaraderie and respect that came with being a part of the Street Law program. Being a 25-year-old department head, I sometimes feel like the kid at the adult table during holiday time; however, this was not the case at this Institute. We were all treated as equals as we engaged in conversation and collegial fun while exploring DC and important civil rights topics that were of interest to all.
I cannot recommend this program enough. The generosity and professional development offered through the program are unmatched, and while I am young, I have been to enough conferences to know good when I experience it!
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(Reproduced with permission)
Closing the Gap
Topic: Civic & Law-Related Education
Topic: Youth Advocacy
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