Leadership Program Welcomes New Class of Youth Justice Leaders
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has announced its fifth class of Juvenile Justice Applied Leadership Network (ALN) participants. The experience is rooted in Results Count®, the Foundation’s approach to leadership development. During the rigorous 14-month program, teams from Puerto Rico; Santa Cruz County, California; Shelby County, Tennessee; and Westchester County, New York will pursue meaningful change on behalf of young people who are involved or at risk of being involved with the legal system.
“This program is about equipping leaders with the necessary confidence, skills and relationships to take their work to the next level and become catalysts for real and sustained progress for young people,” says Barbara Squires, director of Leadership Development at the Casey Foundation.
Meet the 2023–2024 Juvenile Justice Applied Leadership Network Participants
- Amanda Baerga-Ortiz, CIP coordinator, Judicial Branch of Puerto Rico
- Ruben I. Colon Delgado, restorative mentor
- Maria del Mar Ortiz, assistant general counsel, Office of the General Counsel of the Governor of Puerto Rico, La Fortaleza
- Sixto Marrero, deputy secretary, Puerto Rico Department of Corrections
- Jessica Melendez, regional director, Mayaguez, Sociedad para Asistencia Legal de Puerto Rico
- Natalia Rios, program director/juvenile justice specialist, Office for Socioeconomic and Community Development
Santa Cruz County, California
- Caitlin Becker, director, Holistic Defense, Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender
- Gloria Carroll, director, the Family and Children’s Services Division, County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department
- Sarah Emmert, director, Community Impact, United Way of Santa Cruz County
- Jose Flores, juvenile division director, Santa Cruz County Probation Department
- David Rodriguez, police captain, Watsonville Police Department
- Maria Rodriguez Castillo, Alcance programs director, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc.
Shelby County, Tennessee
- Toria Brown, manager of the Pursuit Center, Memphis-Shelby County Schools
- Rebecca Davis, chair, Countywide Juvenile Justice Consortium
- Jessie Dryden, director, Research and Data Visualization, Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court
- Carnita McKeithen, attorney supervisor, Law Office of the Shelby County Public Defender
- Kimbrell Owens, interagency manager/JDAI coordinator, Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court
- Alicia Washington, chief assistant district attorney general, Shelby County District Attorney Office
Westchester County, New York
- Rashida Cartwright-Thigpen, senior assistant county attorney, Westchester County Attorney’s Office
- Sade Gilcrest, YMCA peace mobile director, Yonkers Family YMCA
- Gregory Joyner, My Brother’s Keeper program coordinator, Yonkers Public Schools
- Matthew Kaufman, Family Court program coordinator, CLUSTER Community Services
- Tara Linh Leaman, program director, Westchester County Department of Social Services
- Ernest L. McFadden, program administrator, Westchester County Government
How Is the ALN Program Structured?
Beginning in October 2023, participants will attend a series of six multi-day seminars designed to strengthen their abilities to make data-driven decisions, collaborate, strategize effectively and understand systems. In between sessions, cohort members will have the opportunity to integrate ALN learning into their everyday work to help young people with justice system involvement thrive in their homes, schools and communities.
“ALN is an avenue to help juvenile justice systems and communities work in partnership to understand — and satisfy — the basic needs and aspirations of young people who encounter the legal system,” says Gail D. Mumford, a Foundation senior associate. “ALNers work to recognize and dismantle the structural barriers in the way of young people having the support, connections and opportunities they need to succeed.”
About the Juvenile Justice Applied Leadership Network
ALN aims to develop leaders capable of achieving powerful, measurable and equitable results that are essential to making a lasting difference for young people who face steep barriers to success — especially young Black and Latino men — who are involved or at risk of being involved with the legal system.
Since 2008, the program has produced four classes of ALN leaders, now 53 alumni across 21 states. As ALN alumni, these leaders continue to draw on peer support to employ a results-driven framework in their home organizations.