"How Juvenile Law Center incorporates the youth voice is really important. I feel like I'm on the cutting edge of what's going on as far as advocacy work." - Marcus Jarvis, Juveniles for Justice alumnus


We believe in the power of youth voice. Young people are experts on their own lives, and their lived experiences should inform policies that affect them.

Since 2008, Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Advocacy Program has prepared young people to lead advocacy and policy reform efforts in their local communities and beyond. As we celebrate #10YearsofYA, we’re not just celebrating the past—we’re making sure our youth advocates have the strongest possible foundation for their future work. Learn how you can help them grow.

Our youth advocates have led many critical policy changes, from improving access to record expungement to empowering youth in foster care in dependency court. They speak directly to lawmakers and make national media appearances; their resources and tool kits have been used across the country. They have testified at Congressional briefings and met with White House staff—and they are just getting started!

Learn more about our Youth Advocacy Program!

Join the Program

Our programs are for youth ages 16-22 who are currently in or have had experiences in foster care and/or the juvenile justice systems. We're looking for young people who have an interest in using their experiences to improve these systems for themselves and other youth.

Youth advocates meet once a week for two hours at Juvenile Law Center's office to build advocacy skills and launch their advocacy campaign.  

Juveniles for Justice application >>

Youth Fostering Change application >>

How to Apply

Fill out the appropriate application and drop it off or mail it to the address below. You can also fax your application(s) to 215-625-2808. 

ATTN: Youth Advocacy Program/Applications
Juvenile Law Center
1315 Walnut Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Do you work with youth? We'd love to present to your staff and youth about our youth advocacy programs! Contact Marcia Hopkins at mhopkins@jlc.org or Cathy Moffa at cmoffa@jlc.org or at 215-625-0551 for more information.

We’re celebrating #10YearsofJ4J! For ten years, youth advocates in Juveniles for Justice have tackled big issues in the juvenile justice system. Click to learn more about their impact.

Our program for youth with experience in the child welfare system has empowered young people to advocate for themselves and for systemic reform. Click to learn why we’re celebrating #10YearsofYFC!

How You Can Help

Our youth advocates have led critical policy changes in Philly and beyond. Become a Youth Advocacy Sustainer today to support their work!