Youth Equity Project, Inc. (YEP) was created by Burke Law to provide resources and services to youth sentenced to commitment programs through the Department of Juvenile Justice in Florida. Services and resources include: yoga, zumba, theater, dance, educational opportunities, employment skills, life skills, recreation, and therapy. Youth Equity Project, Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization and is currently running its pilot program at Alachua Academy.
Short-term goals of YEP include partnerships with other nonprofits, businesses, and governmental entities to further the mission of YEP. YEP has partnered with the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, YogaLoka, Toastmasters, 4H, and River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. Educational opportunities include career advisement from Dr. Kristin Joys, Ph.D. from the University of Florida and mock interviews with McDonalds. YEP partnered with Chief Judge James P. Nilon of the 8th Judicial Circuit to provide opportunities for the youth to ask a judge questions, gain insights into the judicial system, and the explain the impact of criminal records. These particular services and resources are currently available at the YEP pilot program in Gainesville, Florida.
Long-term goals include building an equine therapy facility on Alachua Academy property and placing therapeutic horses onsite within the next 5 years. The organization plans to expand YEP to other juvenile commitment programs within 10 years. The pilot program in Alachua County serves up to 28 females, ages 13-18. YEP plans to expand to male populations after documented success in female populations.
YEP strives to expand partnerships with organizations across the state to continue serving youth upon release from the commitment program. Returning to the community upon release is the most difficult time for the youth, the best practice to reduce recidivism is to support youth during transition to their placement county. Upon release from a YEP affiliated program, YEP employees and volunteers will make as many connections as possible for youth in their placement county. Local chapters from current partnerships can provide a supportive and familiar community for reintegrating youth. The success of YEP is monitored by tracking community partnerships and youth-beneficiary surveys upon release then annually until adulthood.
Caitlin Burke, Esquire serves as the Vice President of Nxt Wave Founders, Inc. (NWF). NWF provides educational grants and technical training opportunities to marginalized or disadvantaged socio-economic persons. NWF also provides capital to entrepreneurs within the same demographic to reduce the barriers to marketplace entry.
Burke Law Firm LLC, a Florida Benefit Corporation, is committed to socially responsible practices. The firm encourages minimum and alternative commutes. Burke Law is a carbon neutral law firm and offsets its carbon footprint through We Are Neutral. Burke Law utilizes technology and innovation to reduce the environmental impact of the firm. The firm offers discounted services to business owners wanting to create sustainable practices and individuals or families interested in funding environmental, social, or community impact initiatives.
The law firm is uniquely situated to help companies and families work together and create solutions to local, state, national, and global issues. A governing board oversees Burke Law’s progress on various sustainable development goals (SDG). The Board advises Burke Law’s leadership in how to expand efforts towards achieving SDGs. A long-term goal is for Burke Law to work with businesses that collectively meet every SDG.
Board Members: Jennifer Moreau-Chick is the Executive Director of Florida For Good, a business community inspired by the global Conscious Capitalism and the B-Corp movement. Jennifer served as the Marketing Director for First GREEN Bank, a local B Corp bank with a global mission, and the first bank in the Southeastern United States dedicated to social and environmental responsibility.