I got involved with the Youth Leadership program, which helped me flourish as a leader in my community and gave me a sense of community responsibility. I also learned the importance of self-control and self-preservation, and the steps that I need to stay alive and free.


Met his Advocate in juvenile detention, age 17

I could have been just another statistic, but instead I’m breaking this jail cycle, and [my Advocate] is leading me to the career path that I always dreamt of—which is to help other young people who were in my position at one point and make sure they have a support system, like my Advocate did for me.


Met her Advocate on Rikers Island, age 19

I feel so welcomed and loved by everyone. Not only has Youth Justice Network helped me with my legal situations, but also emotionally. At times I am going through a lot in my personal life, and I know that I can reach out to someone at YJN and sure enough they are there to listen.


Met her Advocate in the community, age 20

My Advocate believed in me and, by her believing in me, I believed in myself.


Met her Advocate on Rikers Island, age 18

Youth Justice Network has given me the opportunity to be nurtured with love, care, and a sense of positivity.


Met his Advocate in juvenile detention, age 16

Youth members’ names have been changed.
Mentions of the organization's former name, Friends, or Friends of Island Academy, were replaced with our current name.

Join Our Fight

Stand in solidarity with our mission to break cycles of inequality and fight systemic racism by giving young people the opportunities they have been denied. Join our community, and together we can make a difference.