2010 AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Shameka O'Neil-Dalton
Name of Host Organization: Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky
City, State: Prestonsburg, Kentucky
Issue area: Children/Youth, Education,
To undertake direct representation of young adults to help them secure needed services to prepare for life out of the foster care system including representation in educational issues and juvenile related issues as they impact civil legal needs. Further, the AppalRed Children's Rights Clinic will engage in outreach and training to raise awareness of the needs of the legal rights of youth that are aging out of the foster care system,educate and advise youth of services and resources that may assist them in their transition.
As a volunteer law clerk for the Department of Public Advocacy,I gained invaluable experience and exposure into the everyday aspects of those committed to public service. My experience and interaction with the juvenile court system has provided valuable insight as to how, we, as a community can assist juveniles by providing them and their families with education options, courses of action plans, and helping those juveniles that are aging out of the foster care system, transition into adult life with a plan and hope for their future.
Making the connection:
My passion is to be the voice of those that are incapable of being a voice for themselves; the Childrens' Right’s Clinic does just that.
Surviving law school:
I preserve my passion for public service by being an avid volunteer with organizations whose focus is serving the needs of the community. By mantaining a closeness with the community, it provides a direct perspective into the people whose lives we change for the better.
Their Eyes were watching God: A Novel By Zora Neale Hurston- a great book about a young lady that fights for her independence and her dreams. The Color Purple: Tenth Anniversary Editon by Alice Walker- a great book about a young lady who gained self confidence as she journeyed through a rocky life.
blacknews.com and cnn.com - these websites keep me up to date with the happenings in both the African American Commmunity and the World at large.