King Hall Student and Community Service
Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Mar 10, 2010
Third-year student Aliyah Abdullah wrote this essay about a community service project she coordinated as part of the Western Region Black Law Students Association (WRBLSA) Convention last month.
Thanks for sharing your great experiences, Aliyah! King Hall is proud to support your efforts!
Law Info Day at KIPP Bayview Academy in San Francisco
by Aliyah Abdullah ‘10
On Friday, February 5th, I coordinated a presentation/workshop for a group of 30 fifth through eighth-grade students at KIPP Bayview Academy in San Francisco. I have served has the Director of Community Service for the Western Region of the National Black Law Students Association (WRBLSA) for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years. The Western Region covers seven states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska. Last year, I presented a Street Law program to seventh-graders at SEI, Inc., an urban charter school in Portland, Oregon.
The WRBLSA regional convention was held in San Francisco this year, so I found a school in San Francisco that I thought would greatly benefit from our outreach. One of the WRBLSA service initiatives this year is Pipeline Programming, which is achieved by encouraging youth to succeed in education and attain higher education without limits. KIPP Bayview Academy works with "students of the greatest need within the Bayview Hunters Point community." The school's mission: To develop in the students of Southeastern San Francisco the knowledge, critical thinking skills and character traits needed to succeed in top quality high schools and colleges, and to lead deliberate and productive lives.
I developed a curriculum for the day including a case analysis, a public speaking exercise, an opening statement exercise, and a mini-trial. Woven into the curriculum, was the importance of education, the importance of the law and how it affects the students' daily lives. Twenty-three law students from throughout the western region worked with three groups of 10 students. We invoked great interest in the law and the students really embraced playing the roles of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
At the end of the day, the students all shared what they enjoyed about the day and asked the law students questions about education, how to prepare for college and law school, and careers in law. Each student was given a UC Davis School of Law folder, pen, and magnet to take home and they were very appreciative and proud.
On Saturday, February 27th, I made a similar presentation for OreMi's mentoring program in Oakland, California. OreMi is a mentoring program that serves students through age 18 with incarcerated parents. The purpose of the program is to help develop confidence in the mentees to break the cycle of incarceration. I was introduced to OreMi through Professor Bill Hing's Judicial Process class in the fall semester. My group project for the class included recruiting mentors for the program. My involvement with OreMi has continued into this spring semester and I will continue to support the program in whatever ways I can.
I am inspired and greatly supported by the law school to continue doing work in the community and reaching out to future generations of law students and lawyers.