The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Staff Shout-Out
My Lawyers Care About Me
Diamonique Perry
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I’ve had a rough life—and not always responded in the best ways. But I can change, and having people who believe in me will help me overcome my past.

My public defenders, Ms. Megan Thomas (family court) and Ms. Mehtab Brar (criminal court), have been there for me in every way possible. It wouldn’t be fair to give one of them credit when they both are such amazing lawyers and advocates. My four cases have turned out well because of them, and they inspire me to do better.

They first became my lawyers when I was 13 and got arrested for fighting. At first I thought I wasn’t going to like Ms. Thomas. She’s young and I worried that she didn’t know what she was doing. I was wrong: Ms. Thomas is a wonderful lawyer and now she’s like a friend. Ms. Brar was nice and real from Day One. I knew that we were going to get along, and I was right.

I was scared that I’d be locked up. Ms. Thomas and Ms. Brar pointed out to the judge that it was my first arrest and suggested a lighter sentence. I was sent home and had to complete community service.

I was arrested three more times while they represented me. They always took the time to look for programs for me so I wouldn’t have to go to jail, and they tell the judge all the good things I do. I get texts every other day from one of them checking to see if I need anything and making sure that I am OK. Their care and attention makes me really happy.

The last time I got sent back to lock-up, Ms. Thomas looked as if she wanted to cry. I was 17, but I was being charged as an adult. I was accused of a violent crime I didn’t do, and they believed me. Ms. Brar did everything she could to make sure that I would not get remanded. She made a deal with the district attorney where I’d do a program instead of time.

I didn’t expect this with lawyers, but I have a great bond with both of them. I feel blessed that these two great people care about me. That makes me happy and makes me want to stay out of trouble.


This column is written by our young readers. Tell us about a staff who believed in you, listened to you, advocated for you, gave you great advice, who in any way made your life better. E-mail your essay to representmail@youthcomm.org with the subject line Staff Shout-Out. Essays will be edited for length and clarity. The writer of the essay we run will be paid $50.


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(FCYU-2014-07-02)

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