Student Spotlight: Kelsey WhiteWednesday, August 21, 2019
Each summer, EBCLC hosts 50 student interns from schools all over the country. We are showcasing the amazing work a few of them have accomplished during their short time at EBCLC!
Kelsey trained with our Education Defense & Justice for Youth Clinic. She had previous experience working in legal services for children but wanted to learn more about youth delinquency and knew EBCLC was the right place to do so.
“Working with youth is very personal to me,” says Kelsey. “I grew up in Bakersfield, California. When the recession hit, we lost everything. School provided me with the stability and support I lacked at home. However, I know that the privilege of school as a stable, supportive place is not always available to students of color, and particularly students of color with disabilities.”
Kelsey had the opportunity to work on a case that allowed her to witness the untold story of her client. By going the extra mile and “conducting” home visits, Kelsey was able to get to know her client on a personal level. She learned about the young person she was representing on a personal level, including what she liked to do for fun, her worries, and most importantly her side of the story. “We got to see the person,” says Kelsey.
Building a good relationship with her client helped Kelsey write a motion that would grant her client informal probation as opposed to going to trial.
Kelsey says that although this was a step in the right direction, she wishes she could do more. “This is just the beginning of what I hope is a long time doing advocacy work; there are people who have been doing this work for much longer and communities organizing around this work, so I hope to continue doing this work because there is more to do for young people,” she says.
Now that her summer at EBCLC is over, Kelsey will go back to UCLA to finish her third year of law school. She hopes to be granted a fellowship that will allow her to raise disability and delinquency consciousness using the client-centered model she learned at EBCLC. “I am excited to graduate and start doing the work,” says Kelsey.