Alyssa Phillips

  • Hosted by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
  • Sponsored by AbbVie Inc., Kirkland & Ellis
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school Notre Dame Law School
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Alyssa advocated and provided legal assistance for the educational rights of homeless students in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs through outreach, community education and direct representation.

Homeless students face significant obstacles in accessing education, forced to transfer schools numerous times, and an inability to get transportation to school. The suburbs of Chicago have seen a dramatic increase in poverty rates that accounted for almost half the statewide increase. Due to the needs and demand the Law Project’s ability to serve suburban homeless students and ability to serve students trying to access selective enrollment schools and preschools is limited.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Alyssa has:

  • Conducted 42 trainings about educational rights for homeless youth at schools, shelters, townships, youth service providers and transitional housing programs
  • Assisted 124 students with immediate enrollment in school, access to transportation services to and from school, preschool programs, financial aid, fee waivers and credit recovery
  • Distributed over 31,596 informational materials on educational rights for homeless youth and children throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs
  • Attended 58 community outreach events and back to school fairs where she engaged with community members and school personal

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Alyssa plans to continue her project’s work as the Education Attorney at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Alyssa will continue to advocate for the educational rights of homeless students in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs with an emphasis on access to preschool and option schools including selective enrollment, charter and magnet schools.

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