Ashley C. Grant

  • Hosted by Advocates for Children of New York, Inc.
  • Sponsored by The Arnold & Porter Foundation
  • Service location New York City, New York
  • Law school New York University School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2012
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

The Overage Project provided legal and policy advocacy to prevent older students from being pushed out of New York City schools and to help these students access the programs and services they need to graduate high school.

In New York City, approximately 40 percent of high school students do not graduate within four years, often because students are unable to access the programs and services they need to succeed. Though students have the right to remain in school until the age of 21, many drop out or are pushed out of school before they earn their diploma. Some students never make it to the ninth grade. In 2013-14, there were more than 8,000 students in New York middle schools who were three or more years over the average age (known as overage students) for their grade. Without access to appropriate programs and services at the middle school level, many of these students never see a high school classroom.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Ashley:

  • Secured new school programs or placements for 40 students
  • Obtained more than $271,000 worth of compensatory educational services for overage students
  • Provided advice or technical assistance to 189 families of overage students
  • Represented 83 families to obtain appropriate educational services, such as testing accommodations and English classes for non-native speakers
  • Provided 26 trainings to parents and community organizations on the rights and options of overage students
  • Researched and obtained city-wide data on overage middle school students through freedom-of-information requests and collaboration with the Independent Budget Office
  • Prepared a client to testify before state legislators at a policy briefing on alternative pathways to a diploma
  • Advocated at the city and state levels to expand pathways to graduation for all students, including those who are overage

Next Steps

Ashley is continuing her project as a Staff Attorney at her host organization, Advocates for Children of New York.

Meet Other Fellows Like Ashley

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Rachel Judd

Host: Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Mary Claire Hyatt

Host: Legal Aid of Arkansas

Sponsor: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Walmart, Inc.

Lily Eagle Colby

Host: Youth Law Center

Sponsor: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Christina Campbell

Host: Center For Educational Excellence In Alternative Settings

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP