Valerie Slater

What is your work focused on?
Youth Justice and Youth Development.

How long have you been doing this work? And what motivated you to do this work?
I have been a youth advocate for as long as I can remember. From supporting my peers being bullied in school, being the advocate for my children in school and community, and being the community, being the go-to parent for my children and their friends. I’ve done the work professionally since 2012 graduating from law school and working to protect the rights of children with disabilities and now fighting for the rights and betterment of youth engaged in every system charged with serving them. I am motivated by my desire to see every child dream bigger than they ever thought possible and to celebrate the wonder of children achieving their dreams. Youth are our future, and that future begins today.

What is your theme song today?

Describe your dream holiday if money was no limit?
A tropical paradise with clear water, a warm breeze and lots of children experiencing an island vacation for the first of many times!

What is the most exciting thing you have worked on or work you are most proud of?
Helping pass legislation that ended the collection of child support from families when their child was remanded into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice. Ending pay to stay fees for incarcerated youth lifted a tremendous financial burden from the shoulders and pockets of every family with a child in youth prisons in Virginia.

How has VAPLP impacted your leadership journey?
Strengthening my advocacy skills, helping to hone messaging, and shaping campaigns that allow every Virginia to see themselves in the work. People show up for what they believe in!

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