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Sheila Alvarez Profile

One of the newest initiatives led by Youth Transforming Justice we are most proud of is our BIPOC internship program. Over the last few years, this program has allowed us to employ high school and college students of color to gain valuable compensated work experience while pursuing an education. Sheila is one of our longest interns, having been working with Youth Transforming Justice for over two years. 


Sheila is a third-year student at the Dominican University of California in Marin. She initially had heard about Youth Transforming Justice through the San Rafael-based college preparation and scholarship program 10,000 Degrees. Pursuing two degrees in Political Science and Psychology, Sheila found interest in the work that Youth Transforming was doing, attempting to combat the school-to-prison pipeline on a local level. “It bridged psychology and policy, which are two topics I am interested in learning from.” 


She applied and was accepted as an intern in our BIPOC internship program, where she got to learn valuable skills applicable beyond college, from acting as a case manager for young respondents working on completing their restorative plan to helping train young volunteers to become advocates in our Peer Solutions cases. But Sheila explains that since the beginning of her time as an intern, some of her most enriching moments were personal experiences that she had. Our BIPOC internship program has evolved and grown over the years. Through those changes, Sheila said she has gotten “to meet so many BIPOC students who are working to help their communities and expand the reach of restorative justice programs like YTJ.” 


In addition to Sheila’s engagement with the broader community, helping young people all over Marin County through Youth Transforming Justice, she is also very involved with the community she has made on her college campus. “ I am involved in the Dominican Political Science Association which is a student organization and I am also a Student Ambassador on my campus,” she said. Being such a bright and hardworking student, Sheila has been recognized with many accolades. Recently, she was inducted into the International Psychology Honor Society and Pi Sigma Alpha, The National Political Science Honor Society.


With her projected graduation just a year away, Sheila’s plans after college are excitedly coming into focus. “I plan on finishing up my undergraduate degree and will hopefully be applying and later attending grad school in either a Public Policy or Migrant study related field.” There are so many ambitious and dedicated young people in Marin County who are wanting to make a difference in their community. Youth Transforming Justice is grateful to give many of those students such as Sheila an opportunity to do that while still have the flexibility to be involved in all of their other passions. Having interns like Sheila is so inspiring to the young volunteers as well as the staff within Youth Transforming Justice.



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