When a journey ends, it's always so bittersweet but also exciting to see what comes next. I have happily spent the last three and a half years learning about the juvenile justice system on a state and national level, witnessed court and visited with youth, sat on panels, trained attorneys, and created materials that I hope will continue to guide new and existing juvenile defenders for a good long time. I got to see the start of Raise the Age which was right before Covid, which was super fun (insert sarcasm here).
I am eternally grateful for every experience I have had while working at OJD and have even shed some tears about my departure. I know leaving means the chance to grow and flex these peacock wings of mine, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't miss fighting the good fight alongside Eric, Burcu, Terri, and Yolanda, and my previous co-workers Kim and Austine.
To keep from crying more, I just want to wrap by saying:
You, defenders, are more than amazing. You are superheroes, you are magicians, you are powerful and life-changing, and don't ever forget it. Keep advocating for change, keep sticking your neck out and getting emotional and getting attached because YOU are the reason why so many youths are getting the chance they deserve.
To my fam-bam at OJD, thank you for the ride. If you hear about me taking night classes at NCCU, just be ready to add me to the list. Thank you for the memories, thank you for letting me be me, in all the fabulousness and highly vocal opinionated versions of me. See you later!!