After 23 exemplary years at CASES, Joe McLaughlin, Director of Youth Programs, will be leaving the organization in early 2014. In 1989, following a year as a New York City Urban Fellow working for the Board of Correction, Joe became a planner for the Community Service Sentencing Project, which subsequently merged with the Court Employment Project (CEP) to form CASES. In 2002, Joe was promoted to Director of CEP, a position he held until being promoted to Director of Youth Programs in 2007.
Under Joe’s leadership, CASES youth programs have evolved to provide a broad spectrum of support services, including onsite GED/high school equivalency preparation and testing, an award-winning work-readiness and paid internship program (Career Exploration), individual and group mental health services, and support for transitioning to and succeeding in college (Next Steps). Joe’s work at CASES has helped to transform the lives of thousands of court-involved youth. In 2011, he received the prestigious Lewis Hine Award for Service to Children and Youth from the National Child Labor Committee. Please see the photos below from our celebration of Joe’s tenure at CASES.
The staff in our youth programs will continue to build on Joe’s legacy of helping court-involved young people to achieve positive and lasting change. We are pleased to announce our new Director of Youth Programs, Rukia Lumumba. Rukia comes to CASES with more than 12 years of experience in youth development and criminal justice. Prior to joining CASES, she was the Director of Youth Services at the Center for Community Alternatives where she oversaw development and management of the Youth Program Unit. She also previously clerked for the Juvenile Service Program of the Washington, D.C., Public Defender Service, where she represented youth detained in juvenile facilities on claims against staff abuse and inhumane living conditions. Rukia also currently serves on the board of directors of Voices Unbroken, a nonprofit agency providing creative writing workshops to youth in prisons and foster care youth residing in group homes.