Center for Youth Development through Law - April Newsletter 2020
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We send heartfelt wishes for health and well-being to you all!

Thanks to your support, CYDL is making a difference in the lives of our community’s young people during this challenging time.  

We continue to mentor our summer program alumni, making sure current disruptions don’t thwart their aspirations for higher education, careers and community impact.  

We are also planning our 2020 Summer Legal Fellowship Program.  The first-generation and economically disadvantaged young people CYDL works with are facing even greater hardship than others in the community right now.  Though our program’s format may be different than usual, it will provide youth with a unique opportunity to empower themselves with knowledge and skills, and to prepare for a future of leadership and civic engagement.  (To support this effort, see the bottom of the newsletter.)
Alumna Spotlight: Mayra Anaya, First-Grade Teacher

Many CYDL alumni are supporting the community during the pandemic in essential professions such as education, social services, law, and law enforcement.

Meet one such alumna, Mayra, from our 2009 Program:

“I’m currently a first grade teacher in Richmond.  I attended Richmond High School and I participated in the Summer Legal Fellowship Program in 2009.  I have a BA in Sociology, Law and Society from UC San Diego, and an MA in Education focused in Counseling from San Diego State University. 

The Summer Program made a huge impact in my life.  I remember walking through UC Berkeley and introducing myself to what college feels and looks like.  I had the opportunity to feel like a university student.  Also, this program teaches work ethic and it allowed me to make connections with professionals through my Oakland Police Department internship.  Over 10 years later, I still hold my first job badge from the Police Department!   

This Program is what motivated me to apply to a UC.  But there were many times in college when I didn’t feel capable. That’s when I held to moments like the Summer Fellowship Program because it reminded me that I had great experiences preparing me for college.

My father was deported just when I was beginning college, which meant my parents had to leave. I did not have any support financially or even emotionally at times.  I kept in touch with the Director of the summer program, and she paired me with a scholarship.  It helped me buy those essential things and helped me during summer.  Summer was the worst because that’s when everyone got to go home, and I had to figure out how to survive.  If it wasn’t for the scholarship I probably would have dropped out of college, and I honestly don’t know where I would be now. Thus, I am thankful for all the support and assistance!  I also remember reaching out for tips or programs for the LSAT after graduating college as well.  

I became a teacher because I want every student, regardless of their social, economic and racial background, to be at grade level and to have the tools and resources to navigate their education.  Many of my first graders, who are from low income communities, have been underprepared coming into first grade.  I made sure to change that, so that they can choose a career for themselves after high school.

It has been difficult adapting curriculum and lessons to teach online due to this current public health crisis.  The most difficult part is being apart from my students and not being able to support them face to face.

I am grateful to have most of my students at grade level for both math and reading.  Nevertheless, there are some students who I have worked with since summer school because they were behind academically.  I am worried that they will not reach the accelerated goals that I have created for them.  I have decided to meet (online) with those students one-on-one every day to do guided reading and corrective instruction aside from my regular class schedule.  My job right now is checking in and tracking every student because I want to make sure that the students are being challenged academically.

My career goal is to become a master teacher in order to be able to coach other teachers.  I would also like to become a director of an educational program in literacy or law in order to implement programs and strategies that can support low income communities."

     "I owe the Summer Legal Fellowship Program so much because it shaped me into the person I am now.  Not only did this program help me apply and get internships, but it also prepared me for real life challenges.  I want each student to have this opportunity!"
Mayra will contribute her talents to CYDL by teaching in our 2020 Program!  

The 2020 Summer Legal Fellowship Program 

Our 2020 Summer Program will go on!  Although this year’s Program’s format may need to be modified, we will still provide our signature combination of exploration of law and social justice; social and emotional learning; college and career readiness; connection to a caring, professional community; and follow-up educational mentoring.  Inspiring and preparing students for the November elections will be a critical component.  Our own program alumni will play key roles in mentoring the new students.  

Could you host a summer intern (remotely or otherwise)?  Or donate services?  Contact Nancy Schiff at

To support the program financially, click here.


Help CYDL Launch Our Future Leaders Donate Now! 

Could you support CYDL by donating services? 

Contact Nancy Schiff at


Thank you for your support!
Center for Youth Development through Law

Board of Directors

Anitha Anne, Attorney, Goodwin Procter 
Creighton Davis, Attorney, Baker McKenzie LLP
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 
Ariana Shaffer, Attorney, Cooley LLP
Ben Therriault, Police Detective, City of Richmond
Michael Wilson, Assistant Public Defender, Alameda County

Leadership Council

Brian Barsky
Ray Cardozo
Stanley Friedman
Ben Hamburg
Hon. Brenda Harbin-Forte
Hon. Barbara Lee
Melissa Nelken
Reginald Oh
Dorian Peters, CYDL Program Alumnus
Miriam Rokeach
Winslow O. Small

Thank you to Hao Zhang, Program Alum, for pro bono work on this newsletter
Support Our Students - Click here to Donate Now
The Center for Youth Development through Law provides transformative educational programs to students from low-income East Bay communities, in cooperation with UC Berkeley School of Law.
For more information, contact Nancy Schiff
Copyright © 2020 Center for Youth Development through Law, All rights reserved.

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