Christine Florick Nishimura
Name of Host Organization: Disability Rights Texas
City, State: Austin, Texas
Issue area: Education/Special Education, Children/Youth
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Texas Access to Justice Foundation
Christine provided legal advocacy, as well as teacher and attorney training, to ensure minority special education students at risk of entering the juvenile justice system receive academically and culturally appropriate literacy programs and other necessary special education services in order to improve educational and life outcomes.
Need Addressed By Project
After working as a teacher, and experiencing the educational inequality that exists in this country, especially for minority students, Christine knew that she wanted to do more to protect children from falling behind and falling victim to the "school-to-prison" pipeline. The majority of children who enter the juvenile justice system are considered functionally illiterate, and many of those children suffer from learning disabilities. The ability to help keep these kids in the classroom and out of jail has inspired Christine to commit all of her time and energy to the educational needs of children.