Meet CFYJ’s 2018 Summer Fellows!
It’s finally June, which means our summer fellows have joined us here in Washington, D.C. from all over the country to help advance justice for young people. Learn more about their backgrounds and aspirations.
Jasmine Awad joins CFYJ as one of two Summer Research & Policy Legal Fellows. Jasmine is a rising senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where she studies Crime Prevention and Control, as well as Human Services and Counseling. Jasmine found CFYJ through her passion for ending mass incarceration and reforming the lives of justice-involved youth, which she developed as president of the Youth Justice Club at her college. While at CFYJ, Jasmine hopes to gain insight on the policies that are impacting our youth and what we can do as community advocates to push the agenda toward a more positive system. In the future, Jasmine hopes to use legal expertise to make a difference towards youth justice. And, fun fact: Jasmine hates coffee, so all her energy comes from naps -- it's never a bad time to nap!
Uyen Nguyen currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina but was born in Vietnam. She is a rising junior at Davidson College, where she is an Africana Studies major and Economics minor. Uyen has interned with multiple nonprofit organizations, and she feels that working at nonprofit organizations allows her to promote positive changes and learn how to become an effective leader. As the Operations and Development Fellow at CFYJ, Uyen’s goals are to learn the operations of a nonprofit organization, legislation that reforms the juvenile criminal justice system, and the current state of the American justice system. After Davidson, her goal is to attend law school and become a lawyer who fights for individuals who have been systematically oppressed and targeted in the American justice system. Fun fact: Her first and last name sound the same, so it’s a real Uyen Nguyen (pronounced “win win”) situation!
Eric Rico is one of two Summer Research & Policy Legal Fellows. He is originally from Los Angeles, CA, but moved to Washington, D.C. to attend American University’s Washington College of Law. Before attending law school, Eric worked with children at an elementary school. He is excited to be at CFYJ this summer so he can continue working with children and learning how to be an effective advocate for youth. Upon graduation from law school, Eric hopes to work in bringing about policy changes related to juvenile justice or education. Fun fact: When he was younger, Eric wanted to be an astronaut, but then he realized he was afraid of space.
Benedict Roemer serves as the Public Interest Communications and State Campaigns Fellow at CFYJ this summer. Originally from the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, Benedict is now a rising senior at the University of Richmond. With a double major in Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law, Benedict has many wide ranging interests, but when he was introduced to youth justice through the Richmond-based organization Art 180 and the Active Citizens Conference, he decided that youth justice reform was a path worth pursuing. This summer, Benedict hopes to raise awareness for youth justice reforms and help construct a platform from which victims of our broken justice system can better tell their stories and inspire action. After graduation, Benedict hopes to work as an advocate for criminal justice reform or other causes that need his support. Fun fact: Benedict has visited 41 out of the 50 states, so one life goal is to visit the last nine.