Back to top

Rebecca Wolozin

2015, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Rebecca Wolozin

Rebecca Wolozin

Name of Host Organization: Legal Aid Justice Center
City, State: Falls Church, Virginia
Issue area: Children/Youth, Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Project

Rebecca will provide legal services and advocacy to low-income immigrant youth in Northern Virginia with special health needs so they can access high-quality education and developmentally appropriate services.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Over the past several years, increasing numbers of children and families have been migrating to the U.S. to escape violence and search for a better life. Virginia receives more unaccompanied child migrants than all but four other states in the country. When these children proceed through the immigration system and when they enroll in school, they face serious and complex challenges. Reports from Congress and the U.S. Committee on Civil Rights show that education among English Language Learners (ELLs) is often severely limited as a result of inappropriate referrals to special education, under-identification of ELL’s special education needs, and harsh school discipline policies that disproportionately affect ELLs. This project will provide comprehensive legal services to these children and advocate on their behalf to ensure that they can succeed and thrive in their new communities.
The Right Person For This Project
Rebecca is the right person for the project because:
• She is a passionate and dedicated advocate who has designed her graduate education to prepare her for this work, including working with unaccompanied migrant children in Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters in Arizona and in immigration proceedings in Massachusetts
• She has dual degree in education and in law, focusing on child development and immigrant populations. As a dual degree holder, she is uniquely positioned to bridge the different worlds and institutions that affect immigrant youth and will bring a nuanced perspective of the interactions and connections between these worlds to her work
• She speaks Spanish and French and has lived and worked on children’s issues in several U.S. states, Senegal, France and Mexico. These varied experiences will allow her to connect with and understand her child clients, who come from all over the world
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Rebecca will:
• Conduct community outreach to the immigrant community in Northern Virginia
• Develop “Know Your Rights” trainings and information for community members and service providers
• Represent children with mental, physical and developmental health needs who require legal services to access high-quality education and to address school discipline issues
• Represent child clients in immigration proceedings