CCYJ 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."
CCYJ 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.
Hannah joined CCYJ in September 2012. As the Truancy Project Coordinator, 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."
Terri is the coordinator for Project Respect, a CCYJ-led initiative in partnership with YouthCare, to develop a statewide protocol for responding to commercially sexually exploited children. Terri's job is to guide the two-year project, including working with law enforcement, court personnel, service providers and others to craft a coordinated, statewide response to cases involving prostituted children. "This protocol is critical for helping young victims quickly receive the services they need to heal from the violence they have experienced," she says. Terri was involved in a recent local government effort to identify and carry out strategies to help these child victims - as many as 300 to 500 a year in King County - some as young as 12. "CCYJ is the best organization to continue this important work," she adds. "These young people aren't old enough to consent or have a choice. They're victims who need support, compassion and services." Terri brings 30 years of experience in health and human services, and non-profit and government leadership. Before coming to CCYJ in 2011, she directed the City of Seattle's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Division, where she guided the development of policies, practices and services to improve victim safety and offender accountability.
Coordinator of our Lawyers Fostering Independence program, Cheryl works to provide free civil legal services to young people who have been in foster or kinship care. Hired in January 2011, Cheryl is the first permanent staff member to lead the program, which had been staffed by Perkins Coie attorneys through the law firm's community fellowship program. Cheryl's job is to recruit and train pro-bono attorneys, meet and advise potential clients, host monthly legal clinics, and support our LFI volunteers. One of her goals is to expand the program to serve more foster youth in and beyond King County. "My job as LFI coordinator is to help former foster youth overcome the legal barriers to independence and success. I want to create an avenue for public service for attorneys who are busy and have limited experience working with youth, but are committed to making a difference in our clients’ lives." Cheryl received her law degree from the University of Washington, and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from the University of Arizona, where she graduated summa cum laude. Prior to law school, Cheryl lived in Washington, D.C. where she worked at Mathematica Policy Research. Her experience also includes working with the UW Child & Youth Legislative Advocacy clinic advising law students on effective legislative strategy, and acting as the Legislative Director for the Juvenile Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association.
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."