"Justice Bobbe Bridge is serious about taking intelligent action on behalf of our children who depend on public systems and public policy for their success. She has established an effective center that aims high and puts children first." Mary Ann Murphy, Partners with Families and Children: Spokane

 

  • Center for Children & Youth Justice
    615 Second Ave.
    Suite 275
    Seattle, WA 98104
    Phone: 206.696.7503
    E-Mail: info@ccyj.org

The Hon. Bobbe J. Bridge

CCYJ's President and CEO founded the Center for Children & Youth Justice in 2006. She served on the Washington State Supreme Court from 1999 to 2007 before retiring to lead the Center full-time in January 2008. She was a King County Superior Court judge from 1989 to 1999, served as Presiding Judge of the 51-member Superior Court for two years, and was the Chief Judge of King County Juvenile Court from 1994 to 1997. Before joining the bench, Justice Bridge was the first female partner at the Seattle law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer.

Recognized statewide and nationally as a leading advocate for foster care reform, domestic violence victims, truancy prevention, juvenile justice reform and a host of other issues, Justice Bridge also serves the community as a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist. She has been a member of the Boards of many nonprofit organizations, including YouthCare and the YWCA. In 1999, she helped establish and fund the Pacific Northwest's first court-based child care center at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, offering a safe place for parents and guardians with business before the court to leave young children.

Among her many awards as an advocate for children and youth are the 2010 Advocacy Spirit Award from the National Network for Youth, the 2009 Strategies for Youth Award from the Washington State Lieutenant Governor, the Passing the Torch Award from Washington Women Lawyers, the Seattle Civil Rights Champion Award from Lambda Legal, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Washington School of Law and the Judge of the Year Award from the King County Bar Association. Justice Bridge also has been inducted into the Washington Generals for special service to the citizens of the State and into the Warren E. Burger Society of the National Center for State Courts.

"Our kids deserve a fighting chance to become strong, self-sufficient and thriving members of the community," Justice Bridge says. "More unified, better informed child welfare and juvenile justice systems will give them that chance."

Michael Curtis

CCYJ's Managing Director is responsible for the overall management and coordination of the Center's programs and projects. He joined the Center in December 2006 as its first employee following a 31-year career in juvenile justice. He began his career as a court officer and probation officer in the Tri-Cities at the Benton and Franklin Counties Juvenile Justice Center, where he served for 11 years before working with judges in juvenile and family courts for 15 years. Just prior to joining the Center, Michael was an analyst with the King County Superior Court Juvenile Court Services, where he was the lead staff member involved in the creation of Family Treatment Court program.

Rosemary Coleman

Rosemary joined the Center as Development Director in August 2013 with a comprehensive background in fundraising for nonprofits as well as marketing and communications experience in the private sector. Before CCYJ, Rosemary led fund development, communications and volunteer outreach at the Plymouth Housing Group, where she oversaw several successful fundraising events and initiatives that exceeded revenue expectations. At Full Life Care (formerly ElderHealth Northwest), Rosemary devised and launched a new strategy to stabilize the organization's finances by expanding its base of community supporters, driving a substantial increase in private donations. She also rebuilt and re-energized the agency's board of directors. As Marketing and Communications Director for The Schuster Group, Rosemary managed marketing, sales, branding and communications for the launch of a $35 million investment fund and a $150 million real estate investment portfolio. Rosemary has served on the boards of several nonprofits, including the Pacific Northwest Anti-Defamation League, where she co-chaired an awards dinner and the Children's Home Society of Washington where she coordinated a charity golf tournament. A native of "the other Washington", Rosemary has lived in Seattle for more than 20 years and considers it home. She is an avid traveler and loves to swap stories with fellow globe-trotters. Rosemary holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Mary Washington University in Virginia. Her skills and passion for CCYJ's mission will serve the organization well. "What we do is so critical, so important," she says. "Our work changes lives and every time that happens, our community becomes that much stronger."

Maria Howard

Maria's duties as Executive Office Manager include overseeing CCYJ's office operations and providing executive support to Justice Bobbe J. Bridge and administrative support to the CCYJ Board of Directors and project staff. Hired in May 2010, Maria came to CCYJ with more than 12 years experience in legal administrative services, including more than a decade as a legal secretary for corporate law firms. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Law and Justice Degree, with a specialization in law enforcement, from Central Washington University and is fluent in Spanish. Maria's interest in law started in childhood, when she came to know and look up to the Chief of Police in her hometown of Toppenish. She's thrilled to be working for CCYJ: "My passion has always been in criminal law and youth justice, and this is a perfect fit," she says. "Youth who have been in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems need the skills and resources to succeed in the community. These young people are our future."

Hannah Gold

Hannah joined CCYJ in September 2012. As the Truancy Project Manager, she facilitates statewide truancy-reform efforts, and prevention and intervention strategies. She also coordinates Lawyers Furthering Education, a CCYJ partnership with the Seattle School District that connects volunteer attorneys with truant youth. "When I first encountered CCYJ, I was so impressed by the organization - the people were great and Justice Bridge has such energy," Hannah says. "They are passionate about what they do, and I wanted to be a part of that." Fortunately for Hannah and for CCYJ, she has the perfect background for her position. The Massachusetts native graduated from Smith College in 2002 and started teaching first grade in the Bronx. After earning a Master's degree in childhood education and teaching for four years, she attended the University of Michigan School of Law and graduated in May 2012. As a student attorney in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Hannah worked in an advanced juvenile justice clinic, representing and counseling youth in court-appointed juvenile delinquency cases. She also interned in Seattle with the Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons. "I used to be a teacher, and now I'm a lawyer doing policy work, efforts that might seem divergent. But this job is really a great combination of my teaching and the law," Hannah says. "Especially with Lawyers Furthering Education, my teaching background should help me work closely with the schools and understand their needs and issues at a deeper level."

Wendy Heipt

Wendy is the Shirley G. Bridge Girls’ Justice Fellow. The fellowship was established with support from Admiral Herb Bridge to honor his late wife, mother-in-law of CCYJ Founding President and CEO Bobbe J. Bridge. As CCYJ’s first fellow in this area, Wendy is concentrating her research and collaborative work on gender responsive and culturally appropriate programs for Washington state juvenile justice involved girls. With support from the Gates Foundation, Wendy is working on a study of girls courts nationwide and laying the groundwork for the development of a girls court in our state. Additionally, with support from the Washington State Partnership Council for Juvenile Justice, Wendy has assumed the role of Director of the Justice for Girls Coalition, a statewide group dedicated to expanding expertise in gender responsive programming. Wendy’s work at CCYJ builds on both her educational and professional expertise. Wendy earned her law degree from Harvard University law school and her bachelor's degree from Hampshire College. She completed two judicial clerkships, the first in in Pago Pago, American Samoa and the second in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has worked around the world on indigenous land rights. Closer to home, Wendy has spent years advocating for the rights of women and girls in our state, and has worked at LegalVoice and at the CAIR Project, as well as served on several boards. Her work as CCYJ’s Shirley G. Bridge Girls’ Justice Fellow will firmly launch our formal work in this important area.

Serena Holthe

Serena manages our Lawyers Fostering Independence program, which provides free civil legal services to young people who have been in foster, group or kinship care while growing up. She came to CCYJ in July 2013 from Baltimore, where she worked as a legal aid attorney and public defender. Serena has a passion for helping young people who find themselves caught in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. While in law school, she worked with the American Bar Association's Juvenile Justice Center and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia's juvenile section. She has volunteered at a community youth center, in an after-school program, and has mentored young people as they navigate from adolescence to early adulthood. In 2012, Serena opened her own law firm, focusing on criminal and family law. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. A native of Iowa, she holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where she graduated cum laude. "I have seen firsthand the damage that our child welfare and juvenile justice systems can have on youths and their families," Serena says. "As Manager of Lawyers Fostering Independence, I look forward to helping young people get past some of the legal barriers they face as they try to become successfully independent adults."

Erika Carleton

As CCYJ's Development Associate, Erika coordinates all aspects of our day-to-day fundraising operations. With more than five years of experience maintaining donor databases, she helps CCYJ stay up-to-date on all the data that informs our annual outreach and fundraising goals. Erika came to CCYJ in June 2013 from Wellspring Family Services. Most recently, as Donor Relations Director, Erika managed Wellspring's annual fundraising campaign, including the spring benefit luncheon, and oversaw donor communications. "It's my goal to help connect donors to CCYJ's mission to reform foster and juvenile justice systems in Washington State," Erika says. "With such professional and uniquely qualified program staff, I know it can be done. And I am honored to be part of it." A native of Connecticut, Erika earned her bachelor's degree in political science from McGill University in Montreal. She now considers Seattle home after living here for the past 17 years.

Anica Stieve

 

As a Research Associate/Project Assistant, Anica supports CCYJ's work on the Suburban King County Coordinating Council on Gangs. She analyzes data for the council, researches best practices, and leads workgroups that are drafting a plan to implement a comprehensive gang-intervention and prevention strategy. Anica also supports the Center's efforts to advance truancy policy changes that help more young people succeed in school. "I am honored to be working with dedicated professionals to improve public policies so they better serve our youth," she says. Anica is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington, where she earned dual bachelor's degrees: one in law, societies and justice and a second in sociology, with a minor in political science. During college, Anica assisted with two research studies focusing on King County's offender re-entry programs. She gained valuable experience and knowledge of mental health law procedures and community services as an intern for King County Crisis and Commitment Services, part of the county's Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division. Anica has volunteered as a teaching assistant in math and computer classes for students in King County's Juvenile Detention Center and tutors adults in King County Jail who are working to earn their GEDs.

 

 

 

 

 

 


© 2006-2008 Center for Children & Youth Justice
615 Second Ave., Suite 275
Seattle, WA 98104