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Layne Walker recently accepted a policy associate position at the Council for Children’s Rights after being connected to the opportunity through DukeEngage’s Charlotte program. The CFCR is a nonprofit organization that advocates for children’s rights to adequate health, safety, and education. Walker’s academic year internship included projects serving two purposes: informing the organization’s individual casework and informing their policy advocacy.

In recounting her first day at the CFCR, Walker described the emotional experience of shadowing defense attorneys at children’s detention hearings. “What moved me most was watching their devastated faces when the judge told them they couldn’t get out that week because their parents or grandparents didn’t show up to take them home and accept responsibility for them.” Walker also helped to compile data on the state of juvenile justice in Mecklenburg County and to track the “raise the age” bill in the NC General Assembly.

Walker’s work on these projects will continue through the end of the school year. Walker also appreciated the warm office environment, and the fun activities she was able to be a part of, including field trips and discussions, “I even looked forward to Monday mornings.” Layne praises the CFCR on their well-planned internship program, which fulfils the internship requirement for her Public Policy major.