As we reflect on a year of immense challenge and uncertainty, we are grateful that you are part of the CYDL community! Thanks to your support, we were able to continue providing educational, empowering, and emotionally supportive programming to youth from marginalized backgrounds.
We are also grateful for the extraordinary young people we work with, who persevere through enormous hardships and remain committed to giving back to our program and to the community.
Hao, an alumnus of our 2012 summer program, is one of those extraordinary young people.
Hao came to the United States from China when he was 10 years old. Early on he had an interest in law, and thought he might like to become a judge, to ensure that "everyone is treated equally in the law." He was demoralized when a relative told him "You can't be a judge -- you're not White." Still, he didn't give up on his dream. But in his low income neighborhood in Richmond, he had no idea how to learn about law careers. As a high school student, he jumped at the chance to participate in the Summer Legal Fellowship Program. He loved serving his city at his internship in the Richmond City Manager's Office, where he said he learned more about Richmond than he had by living there since he was 10.
At the end of the summer, he said “I felt like I was drowning, and this program finally threw me a rope. I now know that I can become a judge." He later attended community college and earned his B.A. from UC Berkeley.
Years later, Hao is now preparing to apply to law school. He recently shared these reflections:
“Memories from my CYDL experience in 2012 still visit me during times of hardship. Through this internship, I became part of the workforce where my community would call success. Not only did this program guide me through high school, it also became a huge factor that helped me through UC Berkeley. It helped me through many hardships in life both in and out of school.”
In turn, Hao is now invaluable to CYDL, ensuring that we can continue supporting other youth. He powerfully advocated for CYDL when our funding was at risk. He also helps with our events, with communications and technology, and by teaching and supporting our new cohorts of students.
Hao (on left) at his internship with the Richmond City Manager's Office in 2012
Thank you for supporting our students and for joining us
in working toward a more inclusive, thriving, and equitable community!
Center for Youth Development through Law
Board of Directors
Anitha Anne, Attorney, Goodwin Procter
Theresa Buckley, Attorney, California Public Utilities Commission
Allyson Deraps, Associate Counsel, Burning Man Project
Hon. Danielle Douglas, Judge, Contra Costa County Superior Court
Natalie Friedman, Artist
Hon. Joni Hiramoto, Judge, Contra Costa County Superior Court
Su-Jin Lee, Vice President and General Counsel, Popsugar, Inc.
Christina Pehl, Educator
James G. Roberts, Attorney
Ben Therriault, Police Detective, City of Richmond
Michael Wilson, Assistant Public Defender, Alameda County