Valerie Slater, Esq


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.

Monica Hutchinson

Legislative coordinator

  • Monica Hutchinson is the Legislative Coordinator for the RISE team. She is a Community and Political Organizer who has organized around racial justice, social justice, and family centered issues. A transplant from Queens, New York, Monica is extremely passionate about her communities here in Virginia and hopes to inspire many with her vision of a Commonwealth where everyone works together towards racial, social, and political justice. Monica serves multiple organizations through volunteer and civic engagement including the Henrico NAACP’s 1st Vice President, Chair of the Political Action Committee, member of the Education Committee and mentor for the Henrico NAACP Youth and College Chapter. Monica also serves as Vice-Chair of Planning of the Henrico County Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee. Monica is fiercely dedicated to engaging the community on issues that most impact them while challenging all to see the world through a lens of equity, diversity, inclusion, and opportunity as we fight in solidarity for justice.

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 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.

George Joseph

Community Organizer

George Joseph is the Community Organizer for RISE for Youth. He originates from the Republic of Moldova. George is a master builder of relationships with partner organizations that support RISE youth justice transformation efforts and that take on our youth in internships and  apprenticeships. He works with individuals, groups, and communities to identify issues involving youth within the community and helps develop strategies for addressing them. He educates and empowers communities and youth to take action on issues that affect their community. George also recruits and trains volunteers to work on building up their own communities. George graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2021 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. George is a mentor to young people and is passionate about our youth. He loves helping youth grow personally and professionally.

Antoinette Joseph

Administrative Assistant

Antoinette Joseph is RISE for Youth’s Administrative Assistant. Antoinette’s experience as a patient coordinator and front desk manager have set her up for success in this role. Antoinette has deep compassion for youth and is looking forward to using her skills and talents to support the work of RISE to advocate alongside youth and families in Virginia. She has a proven track record of providing exceptional planning, logistics, and data management. Antoinette brings to the RISE Team a commitment to excellence as she provides administrative support that enhances all RISE efforts.

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