Calcaterra Pollack LLP team members are not only committed to those we represent and achieving positive outcomes for our clients; we are also committed to our communities, and to advocating for those in need, as reflected below.
Youth in Foster Care & Aged Out Youth
Partner Regina Calcaterra serves on the Board of Believers to You Gotta Believe, a nonprofit that, for over 20 years, has worked to find older foster youth “forever families” so they don’t “age out” of the foster care system on their own. Depending on the state in which a youth lives, they can be kicked out of their foster homes upon turning 18 or 21 years old and are left to manage on their own. Without a safety net, the majority of youth who age out of foster care end up homeless, incarcerated, or worse.
Regina has written about the impact of You Gotta Believe’s mission and the plight of aged out foster youth in her New York Times best-selling memoir and in national and local publications. She also speaks publicly about the plight of foster youth and addressing their trauma throughout the US to family law judges, educators, social workers, high schools, colleges, and countless not-for-profits that impact the lives of children in need.
Regina’s advocacy for youth in need is also reflected in her support of Case’s for Cases, an annual event focused on providing essential and comfort items and acceptable cases to carry them in, for over 600 teens in homeless shelters and foster group homes on Long Island; and as an advisory committee member to The Felix Organization, an organization that provides unique experiences to youth in foster care; and the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Protecting and Supporting Immigrants and DACA Recipients
Legislating Opportunities: While serving as Chief Counsel and Legislative Director to the late New York State Senator Jose Peralta, Senior Associate Justin Teres successfully advocated for the advancement of the NYS DREAM Act (legislation allowing undocumented New Yorkers to access the state’s Tuition Assistance Program for higher education), as well as legislation to allow the issuance of drivers licenses to undocumented New Yorkers. Justin also successfully advocated for the inclusion of budget funding for the NYS Liberty Defense Project, which provides access to free legal consultation and representation to undocumented New Yorkers who may be facing deportation proceedings.
Protecting and Advancing DACA Recipients: Paralegal Isidora Echeverria is an advocate for undocumented students pursuing public higher education. In her previous role as the Public Service Fellow at Hunter College, Isidora worked alongside the CUNY Hunter administration to address the particular needs of DACA students, including access to quality legal counsel and tuition assistance. She continues to advocate for federal and state immigration reform through various nonprofits that protect the rights of all disadvantaged immigrants.