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."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'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."
As a Research Associate and Projects Assistant, Sarah coordinates eQuality, an initiative aimed at assessing and addressing the unique issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.Sarah started out at CCYJ as an eQuality intern in the summer of 2013, conducting extensive literature reviews, developing research study protocols and coordinating quarterly project advisory committee meetings. Since January 2014, when she was promoted to Research Associate and Projects Assistant, she has gathered and analyzed data and stories from focus groups, questionnaires and interviews - data that will give key stakeholders, community organizations and service providers a better understanding of the challenges that LGBTQ youth face in the system."The stories we share about the real-life situations that LGBTQ young people experience will better equip our systems to give them the support they need to thrive," Sarah says. Before CCYJ, Sarah served as an Advancement Assistant at the University of Washington's School of Social Work, a social work intern at the Northwest Defenders Association and Office Assistant for UW School of Social Work Services and Admissions. In her spare time, she volunteers in a drop-in art studio for homeless youth and young adults.
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."
Nicholas OakleyWhen Nicholas first joined CCYJ in 2011, he worked closely with the late Terri Kimball, former manager of the Center's Project Respect. Together, they developed one of the nation's first statewide protocols to ensure a coordinated response to prostituted children that focuses on identifying, engaging and helping these victimized youth recover from the exploitation they have endured. Nicholas went on to gain invaluable on-the-ground experience representing children and parents in criminal, dependency, family law and education cases at the Seattle law firm of Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. He returned to CCYJ in September 2014 as our first Terri Kimball Fellow for the Protection of Children and Youth, established to honor our friend and colleague after she passed away."These kids are victims of a crime - an especially horrible crime - and deserve to be treated as such," says Nicholas, who now serves as Project Manager for Project Respect. "Terri taught me that the system all too often re-victimizes these kids by treating them as criminals. CCYJ is working to change that."Nicholas joined CCYJ in 2011, right after graduating from the University of Washington School of Law. He earned his undergraduate degree in politics and community studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.Between college and law school, Nicholas spent two years teaching and advising middle and high school students. He then served as a teacher with the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia.
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.