March 19, 2010

Mitesh Patel to Be Given Adult Role Model Award

Project Cornerstone has chosen Mitesh Patel, Youth Law Center law clerk, to receive its Adult Role Model Award. Project Cornerstone works with community organizations to help develop assets in youth in the Bay Area.

For the past two years, Mitesh Patel—a third-year law student at Santa Clara University—has served as volunteer facilitator in the Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY) Law-Related Education Program. This program educates at-risk youth about juvenile law and the consequences of crime while also building life skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and management.

Mitesh works with youth in a variety of settings, from FLY’s community-based centers to youth in custody at Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall and the Muriel Wright Center. He goes out of his way to help youth beyond the boundaries of the program, such as accompanying youth to their court hearings to facilitate better communication among the youth, the family, the attorney, and the Juvenile Court.

Mitesh also participates in FLY’s Aftercare program, which is designed to reduce the number of youth who re-offend after their release. Mitesh works with youth while in custody and continues to mentor them during probation to provide the consistent support that can help them avoid re-offending.

In his two years as a FLY volunteer, Mitesh has volunteered hundreds of hours and had a positive impact on more than 300 youth in our community while maintaining a full course load at law school.

Says Alana Hawkins, FLY Law Program Director, “Mitesh has innovation, commitment, and passion to institute changes in our communities. I deeply believe that FLY and the youth we serve are lucky to benefit from his talents.”