Meet The Experts

Current Youth Advocacy Program members, Alumni of the Youth Advocacy Program, and Youth Advocacy Program Fellows are leading experts in youth-led advocacy efforts at Juvenile Law Center. They informed this toolkit with their program recommendations, their mission to educate professionals and the general public about the impact of the juvenile justice and foster care systems, and their dedication to sharing their experiences for the goal of change. 

Cathy Moffa, MSS MLSP

As the creator of this toolkit, Cathy Moffa has worked in collaboration with the Youth Advocacy Program team to both adapt the guiding principles of the “Building the Field of Ethical, Authentic, and Youth-led Advocacy: Key Components of a Youth Advocacy Program” publication along with several protocols and policies to share with other professionals seeking guidance for building youth-led advocacy efforts. Cathy Moffa joined Juvenile Law Center's staff in July 2013, after previously interning with the Youth Advocacy Program while finishing her masters in social work and law and social policy. For over a decade, Cathy has been diligently working to transform youth-led advocacy efforts through thoughtful programmatic planning and development. As Youth Advocacy Program Senior Manager, Cathy manages, coordinates, and facilitates the office's youth advocacy programs: Advocates Transforming Youth Systems, Advocates for Youth Justice, and the Youth Speakers Bureau groups. She also manages national requests for assistance on program development and replication.

Marcía Hopkins, MSW

As the author of the publication “Authentic Storytelling: Supporting Young People in Sharing their Truth,” Marcìa has collaborated and provided essential feedback and direction on this toolkit and the companion documents in this toolkit. Marcía Hopkins is the Director of Youth Advocacy. In her role, Marcia collaborates with our internal departments, youth advocates and community partners to lead efforts around youth justice and child welfare reforms. She also works to develop and implement internal and external resources that support youth/young adult leadership and expertise in policy advocacy. Marcia has worked extensively with youth advocates in our Youth Advocacy Program to design youth-led reform projects and co-write policy reports. 

Kade Diakite

Kade Diakite provided key direction and drafting of the policies and protocols available to download in this toolkit, most especially the program values document. Kade Diakite joined the Juvenile Law Center in November 2020. As the Youth Advocacy Program Manager, Diakite coordinates and facilitates Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Advocacy Program: Advocates Transforming Youth Systems, Advocates for Youth Justice, and the Youth Speakers Bureau through partnership cultivation and working closely with our attorneys and coalitions on various Youth Advocacy projects. Kade graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Hunter College. Prior to joining Juvenile Law Center, Kade worked in the outdoor industry building programs, partnerships, and experiences, providing space for growth, skill and confidence building, personal development and advocacy for youth from underrepresented communities.


A special acknowledgement of expertise to our partner Mark Stranquist for the beautiful black and white images he created and were used in this toolkit.