Jennifer Rodriguez, J.D., is Executive Director of the Youth Law Center (YLC), advocating to transform foster care and juvenile justice systems across the country so youth can thrive. Jennifer spent many years of her childhood in foster care and juvenile justice facilities, and has spent most of her life advocating to ensure justice, compassion and opportunity for system involved youth. Jennifer’s advocacy has resulted in significant national policy, practice and culture changes around the fundamental needs of youth and formally including system involved youth as part of all policy processes. Jennifer’s leadership at YLC has a special focus on ensuring youth in both child welfare and juvenile justice receive the parenting necessary to heal and thrive and live in conditions that meet their developmental and emotional needs. Before coming to the Youth Law Center in 2007, Jennifer served for eight years at the California Youth Connection, a nationally-recognized foster youth advocacy organization, leading efforts resulting in major legislative and policy accomplishments for California probation and foster youth, including stronger educational rights, higher education funding, increased funding for transition services, and promotion of normalcy and permanence for teenagers. Jennifer received her G.E.D. from San Jose Job Corps, her B.A. from UC Davis, and her J.D. from UC Davis law school and is mother to two beautiful children.
J.D., University of California, Davis, 2004
B.A., University of California, Davis 2001
A.A., San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, 1999
G.E.D., San Jose Job Corps, San Jose, 1994