2024 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Aru Gonzalez

Aru Gonzalez

  • Hosted by Public Counsel
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school Stanford Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Aru (he/him/his) will advocate on behalf of Los Angeles’s youngest learners to address both intergenerational and childhood trauma through direct representation, education, and impact litigation.

Extensive research shows that childhood trauma has a profound effect on the ability to learn by diminishing concentration, memory, and the organizational and linguistic skills necessary for children to succeed in school. Most educational programs remain trauma-unresponsive even though existing evidence-based interventions can meaningfully address the long-term impacts of this silent epidemic. For young children, caregivers serve as primary buffers against stress, which often changes and sets educational trajectories. Unfortunately, intergenerational trauma often constrains parents’ abilities to act in this protective role. This underlines the importance that trauma-informed interventions for the youngest children include holistic, intergenerational family supports that address primary caregivers’ own histories of trauma.

Aru’s own trauma history motivated him to discover and disseminate legal interventions to address the long-term impacts of childhood trauma. He hopes to bring a voice to those still learning their strength and place in society.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Aru will represent families of trauma-impacted young children to get holistic family supports in administrative proceedings. He will engage with the community to help them understand their educational rights to trauma-responsive services. Finally, he will develop community-led, strategic litigation to improve access to trauma services, setting up California’s most vulnerable young learners for future success.

We are all ready to accept that childhood trauma is no longer an opportunity for ‘resilience’ but for intervention. Equal Justice Works has given me the chance to work with my community to achieve intergenerational healing—a dream come true!

Aru Gonzalez /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Aru

View All

Christina Campbell

Host: Center For Educational Excellence In Alternative Settings

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Paul Easton

Host: Children's Law Center of Massachusetts

Sponsor: Biogen, Mintz

Sarah Bellinger

Host: Advocacy, Inc.

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Photo of Kate Divasto

Kate DiVasto

Host: Youth Advocacy Foundation

Sponsor: Baker Botts L.L.P., Dell Technologies

Current Fellow