Valerie Slater leads the RISE for Youth Coalition and advocates for the rights of system involved youth. Previously Valerie was a Juvenile Justice Attorney with Legal Aid Justice Center and coordinated RISE efforts while it was housed in the JustChildren Program of LAJC. Valerie has also worked to protect the rights of children with disabilities in community, residential and juvenile justice facilities throughout the Commonwealth at the disAbility Law Center of Virginia. Valerie earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Colorado State University. Valerie has dedicated her life’s work to advocacy in its many forms to preserve and protect our most valuable resource, our youth. Valerie brings to the RISE team an unwavering commitment to strengthening youth and communities to lead the efforts to realize their visions for change.
Strategic Engagement Director
James Braxton is the key relationship builder for RISE. James cultivates community awareness and collaborative opportunities to build with key stakeholders. James is the creative lead for initiatives undertaken to implement RISE for Youth’s strategic plans. Previously James was a Juvenile Justice Organizer at LAJC. As a previous Boys & Girls Club Area Director, James developed a youth program for photography and music and secured grant funding to implement the program. James developed a leadership program for youth to teach the skills of professionalism and ethics in the work place. James studied Human Services at University of Phoenix, and is a Restorative Justice Certified Facilitator. James is dedicated to community empowerment and youth development and brings to the RISE team an ability develop and turn youth and community partnerships into action that results in successful advocacy efforts.
As Legislative Coordinator, Amanda Silcox works to advance RISE for Youth’s legislative agenda at the General Assembly. She believes in bold and meaningful policies that transform laws and institutions to better serve our communities. Amanda previously served as the Economic Justice Program Manager at the Virginia Interfaith Center where she focused on paid sick days and living wages. Amanda brings to her work a passion to educate youth and families on the legislative process and helping those closest to issues to be the catalysts for change.
Youth Development Specialist
Cory Jones is the Youth Development Specialist in RISE for Youth. Cory, a Richmond native, leads the work to develop young advocates in RISE’s Youth for RISE program and Youth Development Academy. Cory graduated from Old Dominion University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a minor in coaching. Cory brings to his work a passion to develop and enrich the lives and experiences of youth to realize their dreams for their lives and their communities.
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