Each year, the Youth Law Center presents the Loren Warboys Unsung Hero award to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to improve the lives of at-risk youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. This year’s awardees are
Paolo Annino is a clinical law professor at Florida State University College of Law and the Director of the School’s Children’s Advocacy Clinic, where he and his students represent Tallahassee-area foster children in their dependency cases. Mr. Annino also created and directs the FSU College of Law Children in Prison Project and the FSU College of Law Children’s Health Care Access Project. In addition to advocating for better prison conditions for juvenile inmates and representing juvenile inmates applying to the Governor of Florida for Executive Clemency, the Children in Prison Project conducted the first empirical research nationwide on teenage offenders who received life without parole sentences for non homicide crimes. The U.S. Supreme Court relied on this study in Graham to find that teenage offenders sentenced to life without parole for non homicides violates the 8th Amendment. In 2006, Mr. Annino was awarded Community Advocate of the Year for the state of Florida by the Governor and the statewide Guardian ad Litem program for “outstanding commitment to abuse and neglected children.”
Dan Corsello is Executive Director Emeritus of the van Löben Sels/RembeRock Foundation. Through his work with the Foundation, Mr. Corsello has been a tireless supporter of efforts to reform California’s juvenile justice system and improve the lives of incarcerated youth. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Corsello was the Director of the Napa County Health & Human Services Agency and Founder and former Executive Director of the Napa County Coalition of Non-Profit Organizations. Mr. Corsello has served on the Board of Directors of many organizations, including: Head Start, Legal Aid of the Napa Valley, the First Five Commission, and Napa County Community Health Clinic.
Karen Grace-Kaho became the first California State Ombudsman for Foster Care in 2001, directing an office created to resolve complaints by and on behalf of children and youth in foster care regarding their placement, care, and services. In her role as both the California Foster Care Ombudsman and Santa Clara County Ombudsman, she has been a relentless advocate for the rights of foster youth, quality of care, and elevating the experiences of and issues faced by foster youth across California. Ms. Grace-Kaho has played a key role in the Youth Law Center’s child welfare advocacy efforts, and has consistently been a strong and tireless advocate for the system to be responsive to the needs of youth. She has served on the Board of Directors of numerous community and professional organizations.
Rochelle Trochtenberg is a former foster youth from Los Angeles County who grew up in group homes for youth labeled as Severely Emotionally Disturbed. Despite the hardships she has faced, she graduated magna cum laude with Bachelor in Social Work in 2009 and was named Student of the Year at Humboldt State University. Ms. Trochtenberg is committed to working with youth to advocate for systems of care that are youth driven. She is currently the Lead Youth Organizer for the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration where she works with youth impacted by foster care, mental health, homelessness, or the juvenile justice system to bring youth input and engagement to improve county systems and service delivery. Ms. Trochtenberg sits on the Board of Directors for Youth In Mind and is a board member for California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth. She is dedicated to helping and inspiring other youth to change systems and policies to improve the lives of all youth.
Loren Warboys was the Managing Director and had been with the Youth Law Center since 1978 before he succumbed to leukemia in 1999. He was a nationally recognized expert on education and mental health services for children in the juvenile justice system. To honor his memory, the Youth Law Center established the Loren Warboys Memorial Fund and the Unsung Hero Awards