Taylor Jones

  • Hosted by National Center for Youth Law
  • Sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school The University of Michigan Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Taylor will work to support District of Columbia homeless youth in accessing an appropriate education by challenging school policies and practices that violate their rights under federal and local laws.

Since Washington, D.C., closed its largest homeless shelter in 2018, hundreds of D.C. children and families have been temporarily living in hotels and motels located on the outskirts of the District. These students have limited access to public transportation, making it difficult for them to attend school. School supplies are another obstacle, particularly given that three-quarters of D.C. schools require school uniforms and many low-income families are unable to afford a week’s supply of uniforms for their children. Students experiencing homelessness are legally entitled to remain in their school and receive transportation services and needed academic supports, such as school uniforms, to ensure full and equal opportunity to succeed. Youth and their families need to be informed of their legal rights and provided with representation to ensure that they receive the educational opportunities and an equal opportunity to succeed.

Taylor’s time as an after-school counselor working with at-risk children highlighted to her the importance of school in the lives of vulnerable youth.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Taylor will provide direct services to homeless students who are denied the services, supports, or accommodations to which they are entitled to under laws such as the McKinney-Vento Act. She will offer know-your-rights trainings that empower families to navigate various school proceedings that serve as barriers to education. Finally, in partnership with families, she will develop model school policies that comply with relevant laws and support practices that remove educational barriers for homeless youth.

I know first-hand how economic hardship can affect a student in school. I was fortunate enough to have extended family that served as a safety net. I want to advocate for vulnerable children who do not have the same supports.

Taylor Jones /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Sarah Wallerstein Koren

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Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation