Valerie Slater, Esq


Valerie Slater leads the RISE for Youth Coalition and advocates for the rights of Virginia’s youth and families. 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 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.

James Braxton II

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.

Amanda Silcox

Legislative coordinator

Amanda Silcox serves as RISE for Youth’s Legislative Coordinator, and works to pass RISE’s legislative agenda at the Virginia General Assembly. She believes in bold and meaningful policies that transform institutions to better serve our youth and communities. She previously served as the Economic Justice Program Manager at the Virginia Interfaith Center where she focused on paid sick days and living wages. Amanda is a Virginia transplant and loves exploring all that the Commonwealth has to offer.

Cory Jones

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 Bachelors of Science in Physical Education with a minor in coaching.  Cory began his career of working with young people across the Commonwealth as a Program Instructor at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Richmond, a Recreation Instructor at the Greater Richmond Department of Parks & Recreation, and a Program Specialist at the Greater Richmond YMCA- Sandston among other accomplishments.  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.  As a Youth Development Specialist on the RISE for Youth team, Cory is excited to spearhead our work to build a strong army of youth advocates to lead and support RISE advocacy efforts to reinvest in supportive environments for youth.

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