Former Miami Scholar Addresses Youth Homelessness in Miami

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After the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Pauline Green, JD ’14, was one of many dedicated AmeriCorps teachers who pushed to stabilize a torn-apart school system in the heart of Louisiana. Working on the ground in Louisiana beginning in 2006, Green, a native from New Orleans, witnessed firsthand the physical and psychological damage a natural disaster has on children and the impacted community. Since then, Green has devoted her life to advancing the public interest and advocating on behalf of vulnerable children and youth.

Pauline Green, J.D.'14

Passion for Social Justice Leads to Study of Law

Her path to law was paved by her passion for education and social justice. Green was compelled to fight for a just system of access to education that her parents were not afforded. Growing up as a black male in Jim Crow-era Mississippi, Green’s father was denied secondary education. Her mother, an immigrant from the Philippines, was only able to complete a high school level education. Emboldened by her parents’ resilience in the face of educational and economic barriers, Green was determined to further her education and fight for a cause she believed in.

Green moved to Miami to work as an Independent Non-Profit Consultant after completing her role with AmeriCorps in 2010. During this time, Green discovered her calling in social justice advocacy and began the law school application process.

Choosing University of Miami School of Law

The Miami Scholars Public Interest Program - with its full-tuition scholarship and public interest focus - and the meaningful work she knew she would be able to do through the Children & Youth Law Clinic, made Miami Law a perfect fit for her.

Once on campus as a Miami Scholar, Green continued to demonstrate her determination and commitment to children’s rights and educational equity through her participation in the STREET Law Program, as a tutor with Empowered Youth, and as the Community Relations Chair of the Black Law Students Association.

Working with Foster Youth - Children and Youth Law Clinic

During the summer of her 2L year, Green joined the Children and Youth Law Clinic and, shortly after, received a fellowship with the Clinic that enabled her to oversee other law students throughout the next academic year. Through her involvement in the Clinic, Green gained perspective on the foster care system and dependency proceedings beyond what she received as an educator.

“I am very grateful for what I have learned in regards to intersectionality within youth education, homelessness, and even healthcare through my participation in Clinics,” says Green. “It laid out the foundation for the work I do in the community today.”

Public Interest Job Post Graduation

After graduating, Green received a fellowship through Miami Law with the Miami Coalition for the Homeless (now Miami Homes For All), where she is currently the Director of Community Initiatives. In this role, Green works to address youth homelessness in the Miami-Dade community through systemic change and collaboration across the child welfare, juvenile justice, homelessness, healthcare, and education systems. Her service as an advocate for vulnerable children and youth through empowerment, engagement, and policy research within the community has shown to be an invaluable asset to the social justice movement in South Florida.

When asked what advice she would give to law students, Green said, “Now is the time to get involved. Find an issue you are passionate about and join a clinic. Even if you’re not sure, now is the time to explore and find what really drives you.”

More on the Miami Scholars Public Interest Program
More on the Children & Youth Law Clinic